News archive

News archive - August-2011

Budget praised for reference to agriculture

“I don’t think I’ve heard ‘agriculture’ mentioned so many times in a budget before.”

This was the reaction of Dr John Purchase, CEO of the Agricultural Business Chamber, to the minister of finance, Pravin Gordhan’s, recent budget speech at a media briefing. “The budget had a strong developmental and redistributive focus.”

André Jooste, from the National Agricultural Marketing Council agreed: “The infrastructure budget (of government) will increase by less than the budget on social grants. We’ll need to find ways to address this.”

09.03.2012 / Agbiz in the news


Agriculture sector offers opportunities in Africa

Governments in Africa should consider more favourable agriculture policies to create an enabling environment for agriculture and agribusiness to be globally competitive, delegates at the sixth African Economic Forum in Cape Town heard this week.

Agricultural Business Chamber CEO Dr John Purchase said Africa, which spends over $50-billion a year on food imports, required input from both the public and private sectors to increase the continent’s agricultural output.

07.03.2012 / Agbiz in the news


Sakevertroue op met 25%

Kaapstad. – Landbou-onder­nemings is opnuut optimisties oor hul omstandighede nadat hulle in die laaste kwartaal van verlede jaar nie veel moed gehad het nie.

Die Landboubesigheidskamer (LBK) en Nywerheidsontwikkelingskorporasie (NOK) se sakevertroue-indeks vir die eerste kwartaal van 2012 het op 64 punte te staan gekom, 25% hoër as in die laaste kwartaal van 2011.

02.03.2012 / Agbiz in the news


Agribusiness’ Confidence Recovering Steadily

Agribusinesses kicked the first quarter of 2012 off on a positive note

continues. The duration of 2011 was defined by its positive, yet low confidence; mostly due to the inhibiting

impact of the increase in the cost of doing business, which constrained the good expectations for the higher

commodity and farm gate prices.

01.03.2012 / Media Releases


ABC Comments on the National Budget 2012

The Agricultural Business Chamber (ABC) considers the National Budget 2012, as presented by the Minister of

Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan on 22 February 2012, to be fair and responsible. Given the background of a

deteriorating global economy, there is very little room for error in the local fiscal policy environment and therefore

the rational approach in the budget is applauded. The budget fits rather effectively within the space available to

manoeuvre in. Considering the current account balance, the budget balance and government debt, South Africa is

in a cautious position, yet a much more favourable position than many other developing countries.

23.02.2012 / Media Releases


Sondetaks gaan hard slaan

Die styging in sogenaamde sondebelasting, veral die 10% styging op bier, kan die landboubedryf hard slaan, meen kenners.

Tydens Absa Agribesigheid se begrotingsbespreking het mnr. Ernst Janovsky, hoofbestuurder, opgemerk: “Van julle se antwoord is dat dit nie saak maak hoeveel dié belasting is nie, julle sal net minder vleis koop. Maar dit is ook sleg vir die landbou.”

23.02.2012 / Agbiz in the news


Landbou dankbaar oor hawetariewe

“Dis ’n baie aangename verrassing om te sien dat hulle dié keer waarlik na ons geluister het,” sê mnr. Anton Rabe, uitvoerende direkteur van Hortgro Dienste.

Hy sê die aankondiging dat hawetariewe vir die 2012/’13-boekjaar met 2,76%, en nie die beoogde 18% verhoog is nie, is “uitstekende nuus”.

Rabe sê die koste om langs hawens uit te voer, is reeds baie hoog, en hopelik sal dié besluit Transnet laat besef dat hy “nie kan maak en doen soos hy wil nie”.

15.02.2012 / Agbiz in the news


A challenging year ahead for agribusinesses

A fragile international economy, slow economic growth rate, the high cost of doing business in South Africa and political uncertainties will be some of the factors influencing the trading environment for agribusinesses in the coming year.

This was according to the Agricultural Business Chamber’s economic intelligence manager, Lindie Stroebel, who recently published a report on the outlook and expectations for local agribusinesses for 2012.

10.02.2012 / Agbiz in the news


Port tariff hikes will hurt exports, job growth

Transnet is forging ahead with its decision to implement an 18,06% port tariff increase for the 2012/13 financial year. It has defended the proposed stiff hike, saying it’s necessary to tackle an infrastructure backlog in rail, ports and pipelines.

The increase will, however, have serious repercussions for farmers and comes on the back of soaring electricity and fuel prices. SA’s ports, and especially the container terminals, are already among the most expensive in the world despite their poor productivity record.

03.02.2012 / Agbiz in the news


IDC to spend billions on developing SA agro-processing

South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) intends spending around R4,5 billion over the next five years to develop the country’s agro-processing sector.

It has already committed R800 million during its current financial year to create production capacity in more than 30 agro-processing companies. The IDC estimates this resulted in 3 700 new jobs.

03.02.2012 / Agbiz in the news


Struikelblokke op die wins-pad

Kaapstad. – Die koste om in Suid-Afrika sake te doen, is die grootste uitdaging vir ondernemings en hul winsgewendheid.

Dit is die mening van die Landboubesigheidskamer (LBK) soos vervat in ’n dokument oor die vooruitsigte en verwagtinge vir landbousake in 2012.

“Geadministreerde pryse en die koste om die nasionale infrastruktuur soos tolpaaie, hawens en soortgelyke dienste te benut is proporsioneel te hoog,” sê die LBK. Die ekonomie het ’n behoefte aan infrastruktuur-ontwikkeling, maar as dit te veel kos, is die langtermynuitwerking destruktief.

24.01.2012 / Agbiz in the news


Outlook and expectations of the environment impacting on agribusinesses

The International economy remains fragile, as the EU’s sovereign debt crisis remains unresolved and

prospects still appear gloomy and risky. Some economists consider the US to be in a “soft patch”, as

their numbers look better. However, the improved prospects are not considered to be sustainable as

some predictions indicate the possibility of the US’ economy moving into recession in 2013 due to

their massive debt levels. As the EU has GDP growth prospects of around or below 1%, it can be

considered to be in a “mild recession”, of which the recovery is expected to be slow and protracted.

As the EU is traditionally South Africa’s most important agricultural export destination, the

agribusiness sector is specifically concerned about the demand for its agricultural exports.

Purchasing power is relatively low, especially for high value goods and world agricultural trade is

expected to be low in 2012. The relatively strong Rand is also limiting foreign earnings, making the

export sector less attractive.

10.01.2012 / Media Releases


Food price hikes to bite a festive cheer

Festive season consumers will pay higher prices for food, including chicken, meat and vegetables.

The hikes have been fuelled by the increase in diesel and paraffin prices, and a critical maize shortage.

With millions of South Africans already battling poverty and high food prices, this could be a bleak Christmas for many.

12.12.2011 / Agbiz in the news


ABC opinion on ABSA forecast 2012

Mashudu SilimelaThe ABC agrees, in general, with Absa’s forecast, as it coincides with other projections as well. Absa

Agribusiness did a great job and provided good indication on where the opportunities are expected in

2012. However, the ABC has to be realistic in its view that the numbers seem to be much better than the

sentiment – and that cuts across the economy. Even though pessimists are beginning to gradually soften

their negative projections for the recovery of the South African economy, the situation is not yet as great

as we would like it to be. “We live in very uncertain times”, is what the governor of the Reserve Bank,

Gov. Gill Marcus says, when referring to the fragile global and local economy. Prof Raymond Parsons,

deputy CEO of BUSA said “the margin for error for economic forecasting has increased, thus the margin

for error in policy has narrowed and a mistake in domestic policy could be very costly”. Meaning that we

are likely to be wrong in forecasting the economy, therefore we cannot risk making the smallest policy

mistake – the same applies for the agricultural sector, if we want to realise the opportunities available, as

identified by the Absa forecasting.

06.12.2011 / Media Releases


Update on the Green Paper consultation process

After the gazetting of the Green Paper on Land Reform, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister

Gugile Nkwinti, invited certain stakeholders to participate in a National Reference Group (NAREG), to play

a constructive and participatory role, which is vital to the consultation process.

The Agricultural Business Chamber (ABC) took up the opportunity to provide constructive, business

oriented and politically neutral input to all 6 working groups within NAREG. The ABC had an internal

workshop to set the general mandate and appointed Prof. Nick Vink, an acknowledged agricultural

economist from University of Stellenbosch, to assist in constructing a well-informed position paper. The

ABC will present this position paper to its Council on 15 November, whereby it will be submitted to the

Minister before the official deadline for comments at the end of November 2011.

03.11.2011 / Media Releases


Katgevegte dalk oor GM-etikette

Dit lyk of talle katgevegte nog vorentoe kan uitbreek oor die vertolking van die bepalings rakende die etikettering van geneties gemodifiseerde (GM) produkte wat in die nuwe Wet op Verbruikersbeskerming vervat word.

Dié bepalings van die wet het begin vandeesmaand in werking getree.

Op die onlangse internasionale konferensie oor biotegnologie in die landbou wat in Sandton, Johannesburg, gehou is, het dr. John Purchase, uitvoerende direkteur van die Landboubesigheidskamer, gesê daar is groot meningsverskille oor biotegnologie, veral oor GM gewasse, tussen die landboubedryf en anti-GM-stemmingmakers – en selfs in regeringsgeledere. Wat en hoe geëtiketteer moet word, is vaag en onduidelik. Baie van die bepalings is ook nie prakties uitvoerbaar nie.

Daar is onduidelikheid rondom die definisies van “goedere” en “organisme”. Dit is ook onduidelik wat bedoel word met die “drempel van 5%” wat betref die inhoud van produkte. Nog onduideliker is as in die wet verwys word na “wetenskaplik onprakties” of “onuitvoerbaar” om vir GM organismes of GM bestanddele getoets te word.

14.10.2011 / Agbiz in the news


Regulering vir GM ‘moet sinvol wees’

Om na die publiek se kommer oor genetiese modifikasie (GM) om

te sien, is dit noodsaaklik dat die bedryf gereguleer moet word.

Dit moet sinvol gedoen word en op wetenskaplike feite gegrond

word, sê dr. John Purchase, uitvoerende direkteur van die

Landboubesigheidskamer (LBK).

30.09.2011 / Agbiz in the news


Ondernemings ‘moet óók pa staan’

Ondernemings met ’n landboubelang moet ook pa staan vir

grondhervorming, meen mnr. Corwyn Botha, voormalige

voorsitter van die Landboubesigheidskamer (LBK).

Hy het op Landbouweekblad en AMT se vooruitskouingskonferensie

in Pretoria gesê dit is nie reg dat boere “die

sweepslae vir apartheid” namens almal in die land moet dra nie.

“Die Regering kry dit nie reg om hervorming af te handel nie en

dit het tyd geword dat landbou-ondernemings toetree. Raak

betrokke in die proses van rondhervorming en help om 20%

grond binne die gegewe tyd aan swart boere oor te dra en help

die boere dan ook om so vinnig moontlik suksesvol te raak.”

30.09.2011 / Agbiz in the news


Agricultural exporters fume at port tariff hikes

Alle in- en uitvoerders van landbouprodukte kan geraak word deur ’n tariefverhoging van 18,06% in verskepingskoste, aldus die Landboubesigheidskamer (LBK).

Derhalwe doen die kamer in ’n nuusbrief ’n beroep op sy lede om deel te neem aan die openbare verhore oor die tariewe wat volgende week sal plaasvind.

Volgens Besigheidseenheid van Suid-Afrika (Busa) is hierdie verhoging, wat tans drie keer hoër is as die land se inflasiekoers, vir die 2012/’13-boekjaar voorgestel.

23.09.2011 / Agbiz in the news


Klimaatmikpunte kan landbou knou

Suid-Afrika se mikpunte waartoe hy hom in 2009 by die Kopenhagen-klimaatsonderhandelings verbind het, was te hoog.

Dit kan die landbou se mededingendheid verder benadeel, sê dr. John Purchase, uitvoerende direkteur van die Landboubesigheidskamer.

Te ambisieus

Hy het op ’n nasionale konferensie oor klimaatsverandering in Pretoria gewaarsku dat die Regering se mikpunte te groot en te ambisieus is – veral in die afwesigheid van ’n internasionale ooreenkoms daaroor.

06.09.2011 / Agbiz in the news


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