News archive

News archive - October-2018

Agbiz responds to Minister Mboweni’s 2019 Budget Speech

This year’s Budget Speech comes against the background of tough macroeconomic conditions, characterised by weak economic growth, less effective tax administration and collection, and rising demand for government expenditure, amongst other factors. The frank assessment by Minister Mboweni, as well as the recognition that economic growth is fundamental to fiscal sustainability, is welcomed.  - Agbiz media statement issued on 20 February 2019

20.02.2019 / Media Releases

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Agbiz announces recipient of 2019 Agbiz Centenary Bursary

Agbiz has awarded the Agbiz Centenary Bursary for 2019 to 24-year old Lerato Ramafoko who has completed a BSc Agriculture degree with an agricultural economics major, at North-West University. Lerato is now enrolled at Stellenbosch University for a master’s degree in agricultural economics with Prof Nick Vink as her supervisor. Her proposed research will focus on the trade-off relationship between food security and the environment.  - Agbiz media statement issued on 18 February 2019

18.02.2019 / Media Releases

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Slight improvement in SA agricultural jobs

South Africa’s primary agricultural employment improved marginally to 849 000 jobs in the last quarter of 2018 compared to the previous quarter. Although this data is encouraging in a climate where South Africa is exploring strategies that could unlock job creation in the agricultural sector, the country is still far behind its target of creating a million agricultural jobs by 2030 as envisaged in the National Development Plan. What's more, if the underutilised land in the former homelands and other parts of the country are not brought into full production with a key focus on labour-intensive sub-sectors, notable job creation in South Africa’s agriculture will not materialise. Fortunately, the President in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) signalled a positive message on this. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research

15.02.2019 / Agbiz in the news

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Joint update statement by DAFF and the red meat industry on the FMD outbreak in Vhembe district delivered by Minister Senzeni Zokwana

On the 14th of January 2019, as the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, I convened a meeting with the Red Meat Association to engage on better responses on the outbreak of the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in Limpopo, Vhembe District. In this meeting we agreed on a collaborative approach between government and Industry in eliminating the spillage. I must commend the contributions so far from the industry in particular at technical committees’ level. The update we are giving today is a cumulative work of the collective past two weeks.

As a result of the FMD outbreak, South Africa lost its OIE recognised FMD free zone without vaccination status. This has had a devastating effect on trade of cloven hoofed animals and their products from South Africa. While some countries instituted official bans, trade was further disrupted as a result of the inability to certify for any exports where FMD free zone attestation is required.

04.02.2019 / Agbiz in the news

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Agbiz establishes new desk for the fruit industry

Stephanie van der Walt has been appointed as general manager of the Fruit Desk at Agbiz as of January 2019. The Fruit Desk is an initiative of Fruit South Africa, and specifically the Citrus Growers Association, Hortgro, SATI and the Fresh Produce Exporters Forum, in collaboration with Agbiz. The Fruit Desk is the third industry desk to be instituted at Agbiz. The purpose of the desk is to ensure that the South African fruit sector is represented in matters of policy, regulation and market access.

11.01.2019 / Media Releases

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Agbiz establishes new desk for the fruit industry

Stephanie van der Walt has been appointed as general manager of the Fruit Desk at Agbiz as of January 2019. The Fruit Desk is an initiative of Fruit South Africa, and specifically the Citrus Growers Association, Hortgro, SATI and the Fresh Produce Exporters Forum, in collaboration with Agbiz.The Fuit Desk is the third industry desk to be instituted at Agbiz. The purpose of the desk is to ensure that the South African fruit sector is represented in matters of policy, regulation and market access.

10.01.2019 / Agbiz in the news

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Agricultural water management scenarios for South Africa

Water is the most critical resource for economic development and food security and more so in a water stressed South Africa. The Water Resource Commission (WRC) funds a project titled “Agricultural Water Management Scenarios for South Africa” and seeks to capture inputs and contributions from all agricultural water stake holders in South Africa. Mariana Purnell of Agbiz Grain recently participated in a meeting with the research team (from the University of the Free State) which is consulting all stakeholders through a series of small stakeholder workshops and two national symposia to develop scenarios for future agricultural water management in South Africa. The presentations were thought provoking. The WRC also anticipates that that these scenarios will influence future policy.

13.12.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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South Africa’s agricultural machinery sales slow in November 2018

The decline in South Africa’s tractors and combine harvester sales to 428 and 9 units, respectively, in November 2018 comes as no surprise as most farmers bought some equipment in the past couple of months. This is evident from South Africa’s tractor sales for the first 11 months of this year, which amounted to 6 246 units, up by 4% higher than the corresponding period last year. Over the same period, the combine harvester sales amounted to 194 units, up by a percentage point from the first 11 months of 2017. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research

11.12.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Agribusiness Outlook for 2019

“The damage done to the economy and the social fabric of society by the Zuma administration through so-called state capture over the past decade is enormous. It will take a mammoth effort by all South Africans respecting the Constitution and the rule of law to turn South Africa around on the road to growth and prosperity for all its people. By instituting the Zondo Commission of Enquiry into State Capture and the Nugent Commission of Enquiry into the South African Revenue Service (SARS), as well as appointing Advocate Shamila Batohi as National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), President Ramaphosa has so far made good on his promise to fight corruption and clean up government and governance,” Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz said today.  - Agbiz media statement issued on 5 December 2018

05.12.2018 / Media Releases

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Agbiz confirms its position on property rights and inclusive growth

“As stated in its comprehensive submission to the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) in June 2018, the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) confirms its strong position on the protection and extension of property rights. Property rights underline the values and principles related to individual liberty and economic freedom. A strong property rights system is the enabler for fostering investment and economic growth, human capabilities, research and innovation, environmental performance, and the creation of social capital. Property rights are the key ingredient for the prosperity of society,” Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz said today. - Agbiz media statement issued on 3 December 2018

 

03.12.2018 / Media Releases

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Agbiz confirms its position on property rights and inclusive growth

“As stated in its comprehensive submission to the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) in June 2018, the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) confirms its strong position on the protection and extension of property rights. Property rights underline the values and principles related to individual liberty and economic freedom. A strong property rights system is the enabler for fostering investment and economic growth, human capabilities, research and innovation, environmental performance, and the creation of social capital. Property rights are the key ingredient for the prosperity of society,” Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz said today. - Agbiz media statement issued on 3 December 2018

03.12.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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President signs Labour Law Amendment Acts into law

President Ramaphosa has signed the Labour Law Amendments Acts, What does it mean for agriculture in general and the employer specifically Following are some frequently asked questions to look into the detail. - Elize van der Westhuizen, director of Comply Plus

29.11.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Land reform: Status update

On 15 November 2018 the Constitutional Review Committee made the recommendation that section 25 of the Constitution should be amended to ‘clarify’ that section 25 of the Constitution does make provision for expropriation without compensation. At this time the conditions under which this may happen are still unknown as Parliament is yet to draft and consult on the exact wording of the proposed amendment. 

29.11.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Carbon Tax Bill introduced into the National Assembly

On Tuesday 20 November, the Minister of Finance formally introduced the Carbon Tax Bill into the National Assembly. The Speaker will outline the process that is to be followed from here. A number of changes has been made to the Bill, reportedly as a result of comments received during the public participation process. One of the principle points raised by the business community during the public participation process was the non-alignment between carbon budgets and the carbon tax. - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence

23.11.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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What does a 'clarification' amendment mean?

The Constitutional Review Committee yesterday revealed their decision to recommend an amendment to section 25 of the Constitution to ‘clarify’ that expropriation without compensation can take place under section 25 of the Constitution. The details of this proposal are still unclear and one will only be able to fully assess the impacts of such an amendment once the conditions are made public, however, it is worth dissecting what a ‘clarification’ amendment could entail. - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence

16.11.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Agbiz responds to the Constitutional Review Committee’s recommendation to amend the Constitution to provide for land expropriation without compensation

“Agbiz has noted with disappointment and concern the recommendation by the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) to amend the Constitution of South Africa to explicitly make provision for land expropriation without compensation.  Agbiz has consistently maintained that it is not necessary to amend the Constitution to effect land reform in South Africa, and this proposed amendment to the Constitution will impact negatively on much-needed investment and harm the economy”, Dr John  Purchase, CEO of Agbiz, said today. - Agbiz media statement, issued 16 November 2018

16.11.2018 / Media Releases

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Namibian GMO food labeling regulations will affect trade with South Africa

New Namibian GMO Food Labeling Regulations will affect all future grain exports to Namibia. This was according to the CEO of the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) and GM of Innovation, Technology and Development in Namibia who recently addressed grain value chain role players on the impact of the new legislation and the GMO list that was compiled for maize, soybean, canola, wheat, cotton and rice. The Biosafety Act 2006 of Namibia provides measures to regulate the activities that involve research, development, production, marketing, transportation, applications and other uses of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as well as specific products derived from these GMOs as they are harnessed safely. 

09.11.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Cross-border knowledge sharing between SA and Zimbabwe farmers critical

The collapse of Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector from the early 2000s is well documented, and largely attributed to ill-conceived land reform policies. But as the spirit of political change sweeps across the country, albeit with lingering economic underperformance, it is worth looking at what agricultural products Zimbabwe imports in large quantities and whether import substitution would be a possibility in the near to medium term. - By Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research  *Written for and  first published on Business Day

09.11.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Pretoria session stimulates conversation on current topics

On Thursday, 1 November Agbiz hosted a half-day information session focusing on the current challenges in the policy and legislative environment, as well as developments and opportunities in the agribusiness sector. Close to 100 role players and stakeholders, representing agribusinesses, financiers, producers and agri-associations attended the event at Leriba Hotel in Centurion. 

02.11.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Predicting the El Niño effect

Admittedly, it is too early to tell how most Southern African countries will cope with the expected weak El Niño in the summer season. Typically, an El Niño weather phenomenon would lead to drier weather conditions in most countries on the continent, almost similar to what we witnessed in the 2015-16 drought years. However, when it is weak, as expected, the impact could be minimal. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research *Written for and first published in Business Day

02.11.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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