News archive

News archive - August-2010

Navigating the maize

SA FARMERS are sitting on a maize surplus of 4 million tonnes, which they are desperate to export. But the answer doesn’t lie in finding markets outside of SA.

Government should step in and buy the maize at international prices and keep it for when there’s next a shortage.

Of course, government stabilising the maize price hasn’t been policy for some years now, as government believes in a “free market” in agriculture.

23.11.2010 / Agbiz in the news


Buying groups bid to cut farming costs

 Farmers, facing rising input costs and falling commodity prices, are forming buying groups to benefit from bulk discounts.

Willie du Plessis, the director of agricultural banking at Standard Bank, said this was an efficient way for farmers to reduce costs.

"Apart from the fact that discounts to a buying group will be better than those made to individuals, using buying groups also saves individual farmers the time of hunting around for reasonable prices," he said.

14.11.2010 / Agbiz in the news


South Africa Urges Switch to Yellow Corn, Asian Markets

South Africa’s government said the country should change the type of corn it plants to target markets in Asia and suggested setting up an agency to promote exports.

An investigation conducted by a team of officials from the Department of Agriculture and the National Agriculture Marketing Council recommended that South Africa “aggressively” move toward producing more yellow corn to meet demand from Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. South Africa, the biggest producer of the grain in Africa, grows mainly white corn, locally known as maize.

09.11.2010 / Agbiz in the news


More than a minister needed to help fix Transnet, Eskom

 The best of luck to new Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba - even Superman would not be able to do much about SA's electricity and rail transport challenges, analysts and industry role players said this week.

Gigaba, a former deputy home affairs minister, was appointed to the position previously held by Barbara Hogan.

The lack of permanent leadership at Transnet and the number of acting board members (acting CEO Chris Wells and executive Vuyo Kahla both announced their imminent departures this week) are issues Gigaba will have to address.

07.11.2010 / Agbiz in the news


South Africa - Gordhan warns about global 'trade wars'

“But this could result in a trade war where countries will put up barriers.”Gordhan said the rand, which has strengthened consistently behind high foreign investment flows, was in “serious danger of competitive devaluation”.Other emerging markets, such as Brazil, Turkey and China, have moved to weaken their currencies, but South Africa’s Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus has said South Africa can’t afford to act this aggressively.

03.11.2010 / Agbiz in the news


ABC comments on medium term budgetary policy statement

The Agricultural Business Chamber (ABC) is filled with a sense of sanctuary after the Medium Term

Budgetary Policy Statement by the Minister of Finance, Minister Pravin Gordhan, on 27 October

2010. The stated assessment and expectations by the Minister of Finance on both the global and

domestic economic outlook was generally accepted to be fair and realistic. The ABC agrees that SA’s

economy finds itself in a fragile and slow recovery stage and states that the 3% growth projection

throughout the remaining part of the year might be slightly over-optimistic.

28.10.2010 / Media Releases


Navorser + Produsent = Wenresep

Boere en ander landbourolspelers van dwarsoor die land het Dinsdag die Outeniqua Navorsingsplaas by George se jaarlikse inligtingsdag bygewoon.

21.10.2010 / Agbiz in the news


Staat bekyk sy bydrae tot kospryse

Die Regering is besig om te ondersoek hoe die pryse van monopolistiese semi-staatsinstellings kospryse beïnvloed.

Dít volg nadat dr. John Purchase, uitvoerende hoof van die Landboubesigheidskamer, die Departement van Landbou, Bosbou en Visserye versoek het om die Nasionale Landboubemarkingsraad (NLBR) en die Buro vir Voedsel- en Landboubeleid (BFAP) te betrek by ‘n studie oor die invloed van staatsgeadministrateerde tariewe op voedselpryse.

13.10.2010 / Agbiz in the news


Nationalisation under fire

 South Africa's business community is having sleepless nights about the continued calls for nationalisation of local companies.

Despite repeated assurances by President Jacob Zuma that nationalisation is not government policy, ANC Youth League president Julius Malema uses every platform to push nationalisation and insist that the ANC's national executive committee is discussing it.

10.10.2010 / Agbiz in the news


New challenges for agricultural value chains - Interview with Dr John purchase, CEO of ABC

Dr John Purchase, CEO of the Agricultural Business Chamber(ABC), shares his insights about changing the Co-Operatives legislation and the importance of agricultural business in the agricultural value chain.

10.10.2010 / Agbiz in the news


Landbou se PPI-syfer 'tel kop op'

Die produksieprysindeks (PPI)-syfer vir die landbou het met 1,2% tussen Julie en Augustus vanjaar gestyg, maar groter stygings is nodig, sê ekonome.

Volgens Statistieke SA het die algemene PPI vir Augustus op 7,8% te staan gekom, terwyl dit 9,4% in Julie was. Die verbruikersprysindeks (VPI)-syfer vir Augustus is 3,5%.

Wat die landbousektor aanbetref is ‘n styging van 1,2% aangeteken ná Julie se syfer van 0,2%, en Augustus op 1,4% te staan gekom het.


05.10.2010 / Agbiz in the news


Update on transformation of agricultural sector

The parliamentary portfolio committee on agriculture, forestry and fisheries has been holding public hearings on transformation in the agricultural sector.

A variety of organisations have made representations to the committee, including the AgriBEE charter council. The department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries has also reported on the current status of transformation in the sector.

According to director general of the department, Langa Zita, the council is in the process of aligning the AgriBEE transformation charter with the requirements of a section 9 code of good practice as set out in Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Act 53 of 2003. When the charter was gazetted in March 2008, it was aligned to section 12 of the act and is therefore not binding to enterprises. This has made reporting on the sector’s transformation difficult.

01.10.2010 / Agbiz in the news


Analysis: NGC goes gaga for Chinese model

The ANC edged towards greater government intervention in the economy at its policy review

conference last week, while business commentators were concerned that mixed signals were

projected to the financial markets.

Key conundrums over policy were not tackled, argued Brait economist Colen Garrow. He said issues

concerning both domestic and foreign investors were not really addressed.

28.09.2010 / Agbiz in the news


SA kan deel van goue hoofweg wees

Suid-Afrika kan deel wees van die toekoms van die “goue hoofweg” vir die vervoer van landbouprodukte tussen Asië en Suid-Amerika, meen prof. Johan du Plessis van Logistics International.

“Suid-Afrika moet dus sorg dat ons vervoer-infrastruktuur aan die uitdagings voldoen en ons moet ook na moontlikhede in die Suider-Afrikaanse Ontwikkelingsgemeenskap (SAOG),” verduidelik hy.

23.09.2010 / Agbiz in the news


SA's agricultural reform programme failing

Members serving on Parliament's agriculture committee acknowledged that the agricultural reform

programme was in trouble, with at least half of transferred farms failing.

Ben Cousins, a professor of land and agrarian studies at the University of the Western Cape, said

while he did not believe Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti was right about

90 percent of transferred farms having failed, he believed it was still a high number but probably

nearer 50 percent.

20.09.2010 / Agbiz in the news


Struggling farmers urged to diversify

Farmers rattled by rising input costs and falling commodity prices are being

urged to diversify and cash in on the growing agricultural tourism, or agritourism,


According to estimates from GrainSA, an association representing farmers growing soya

beans, sunflower, maize and wheat, between 20% and 30% of its members face bankruptcy.

The association's members have four million tons of maize surpluses in silos.

By the government's own admission, nine out of 10 farms have degenerated to a lack of

productivity. Statistics show that the number of farms has declined by 20000 since 1993,

leaving 300000 workers without jobs. Employment in the sector has dropped from more than

a million to 796800.

19.09.2010 / Agbiz in the news


Probleme met kontantvloei druk vertroue in landbou af

Kaapstad. - Die Landboubesigheidskamer (LBK) en die Nywerheidsontwikkelingskorporasie (NOK) se kwartaallikse vertrouensindeks vir landbou-ondernemings toon die vertroue in die derde kwartaal is 53% hoër as in die ooreenstemmende kwartaal verlede jaar, maar dit beteken nie alles in die sektor gaan voor die wind nie.

Gemeet aan die tweede kwartaal van vanjaar het die indeks met 5% gedaal. Die indeks staan nou op 53 punte.

Me. Lindie Stroebel, ekonoom by die LBK, sê die daling plaas ’n demper op die groot vordering sedert verlede jaar. Hoewel nog dalings in die vertrouensindeks nie verwag word nie, wys dit dat vertroue steeds aan die lae kant kan bly.

09.09.2010 / Agbiz in the news


Cosatu het radikale ekonomieplan

Cosatu wil ingrypende veranderings in die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie sien.

Dít blyk uit ’n nuwe voorstel­beleidsdokument wat die vakverbond binnekort wil bekend maak.

In dié dokument vra Cosatu onder meer om die volgende:

- ’n Superbelasting vir ryk individue. Dié belasting moet gehef word op die 10% van die werkmag wat die meeste geld verdien. Dis nog nie duidelik hoe dié 10% geïdentifiseer gaan word nie en hoe dit toegepas gaan word nie.

05.09.2010 / Agbiz in the news


Cosatu calls for business overhaul

Johannesburg - Labour federation Cosatu has put together a policy proposal document

calling for a radical revamp to how the country does business.

The proposed sweeping legislation changes include new taxing of the rich, regulating

farming, forcing business to mostly stock locally made products, restricting foreign ownership

of large corporates, banning the export of scrap metals and establishing a state bank.

05.09.2010 / Agbiz in the news


Processed food imports dent jobs

Johannesburg — THE agricultural sector is losing jobs because processed products are being imported, instead of being produced and manufactured locally, Lindie Stroebel of the Agricultural Business Chamber said last week.

02.09.2010 / Agbiz in the news