News archive

News archive - July-2011

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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Dr John Purchase, CEO of the ABC, honoured as Kovsie Alumnus of the Year

Dr John Purchase, Chief Executive of the Agricultural Chamber of Commerce, was honoured as Kovsie Alumnus of the Year by the University of the Free State (UFS) during the annual Kovsie Alumni Awards Dinner on 2 September 2011. Dr Purchase and four other former Kovsies were honoured for exceptional achievements and contributions made to the UFS at this glittering event.

02.09.2011 / Agbiz in the news

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Hawens wil tariewe met 18% verhoog

’n Aansoek om ’n tariefverhoging

wat drie keer hoër is as inflasie

is deur Transnet se Nasionale

Hawe-owerheid (TNHO) by die

hawereguleerder ingedien. Dít

terwyl die Durbanse hawe reeds

as een van die duurste hawens ter

wêreld geag word.

Die owerheid vra om ’n verhoging

van 18,06% in sy tariewe vir

2012/’13. Die uiteindelike

tariefverhoging behoort egter net

minder as 13% te wees weens

ander faktore wat bygereken word.

19.08.2011 / Agbiz in the news

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Landbou steeds 'n belegging

As die debat oor nasionalisering aangaan, gaan die

uitwerking daarvan dekades lank gevoel word, het dr.

John Purchase, hoofdirekteur van die Landboubesigheidskamer

(LBK), op die boeredag gesê. “Ons

leef ekonomies en polities in onsekere tye. ’n Klomp

goed kan gehanteer word, maar ander nie. Produsente

moet duidelik sê watter waarde hulle na die waardeketting

bring, maar buigbaar bly.”

19.08.2011 / Agbiz in the news

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Arm Suid-Afrikaners word ryker

Die gemiddelde huishoudelike inkomste in Suid-Afrika

styg geleidelik. Van af 2004 tot 2009 het 62% van die

land se armste mense na hoer inkomsteklasse geskuif.

Dié inligting behoort meer onder die Regering se

aandag te kom, het dr. John Purchase, hoofdirekteur

van die Landboubesigheidskamer (LBK), tydens ’n

boeredag op Tzaneen gesê.

19.08.2011 / Agbiz in the news

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Feedback on NEDLAC's Trade and Industry chamber Strategic Session

The ABC participated in NEDLAC’s Trade and Industry Chamber (TIC) strategic session and was

represented by Dr. John Purchase and Mr Herbital Maluleke. The meeting was opened by the

Executive Director of NEDLAC, Mr. Herbert Mkhize who introduced the Chairperson of the session,

Minister Rob Davies of the Department of Trade and Industry and all delegates of the various

constituencies.

Minister Rob Davies welcomed the delegates. He reminded delegates about the challenges facing the

South Africa industries and dealt, among other issues, with:

12.08.2011 / Media Releases

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Not ‘either/or’ between small and large farming, both needed

It is not a case of South Africa needing to support either small- or large-scale farming, but that both are important for the country’s development, says business organisation Agricultural Business Chamber (ABC) CEO Dr John Purchase.

Specifically, large-scale farming will provide food security and sustainable agriculture, while support for the development of small-scale farming will improve household food security, social stability and reduce the drive towards urbanisation.

05.08.2011 / Agbiz in the news

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Regering toon wantroue in eie stelsel met appèl – LBK

Die appèl van drie ministers teen die

Mededingingstribunaal se goedkeuring

van die Walmart-Massmart samesmelting

is die slegste ding wat die afgelope vyf

jaar met die Suid-Afrikaanse sakesektor

kon gebeur, sê me. Lindie Stroebel, senior

ekonoom van die Landboubesigheidskamer

(LBK).

Stroebel sê die proses wat die

Amerikaanse winkelreus moes deurloop

voor die tribunal die proses goedgekeur

het, was goed.

05.08.2011 / Agbiz in the news

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Africa Lead partners with ABC

AFRICA LEAD is a USAID-funded project focused on building capacity for agricultural

development in a number of African countries* across the continent. AFRICA LEAD is offering

an opportunity for South African companies to participate in their “Agribusiness Leadership

Program”. By matching private sector hosts from more technically advanced economies (like

South Africa) with participants from enterprises that need technical skills upgrades, the

Agribusiness Leadership Program supports skills transfer to facilitate a greater commercial

model of agricultural production and value addition in Africa.

02.08.2011 / Media Releases

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