News archive

News archive - March-2018

National Minimum Wage implementation date postponed

The National Minimum Wage Bill and the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill jointly seek to transition South Africa from sectoral wage determinations towards a single minimum wage applicable on all industries in South Africa. These Bills are currently under discussion at the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Labour. As per the agreement reached between Labour, Government and Business at Nedlac, the National Minimum Wage was due to come into effect on the 1st of May 2018 - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Head: Legal Intelligence

05.04.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Disease outbreaks show food safety underpins security

Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist, commended SA’s food security status in his personal blog in February. This was after the Economist Intelligence Unit placed South Africa at 44th place out of 133 countries worldwide in the 2017 Global Food Security Index. This essentially makes South Africa the most food secure country in the continent. "Some conflated the blog post with land reform issues, arguing that the proposed expropriation without compensation policy would tamper with the progress made thus far. But, my intention was to shed light on the meaning of food security," he wrote.

29.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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National Dialogue on Land Reform kicked-off this week

Leading scholars and academics, members of civil society, politicians and representatives from the agricultural, agribusiness and banking industries met at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) this week for the first National Dialogue on Land. Academics from the Nelson Mandela University and GIBS took the initiative to arrange an open dialog to ensure that academics and intellectuals do not get side-lined in the process of debating the review of section 25 of the Constitution. Dr John Purchase served as a panellist and made a presentation highlighting the role of agribusiness in the economy, the link with property rights and the manner in which the sector can contribute to land reform within the context of inclusive growth - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Head: Legal Intelligence

29.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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South Africa’s summer crop production estimates lifted by 2% from last month

The National Crop Estimates Committee reaffirmed its view that South Africa is in for a good grain and oilseed harvest this season (albeit being less than the record achieved in 2016/17 season). The Committee revised its production estimates upwards by 2% from last month to 14.8 million tonnes. The notable uptick was on white maize, sunflower seed, sorghum and soybeans production - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz Economist

28.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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A glimpse into the crystal ball of the storage and handling of grains and oilseeds

The recent mergers of several large global agrochemical and seed companies, their diversification and highly progressive technological approach bring new, innovative technology to agriculture. To keep up with this, the role of the handlers/storage facilities of grain and oilseeds will gradually be expanded - Mariana Purnell, Agbiz Grain

28.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Trade wars are not good for any country

Trade wars can be costly and devastating on the economies of those countries involved as they often limit the exchange of products and service, subsequently reducing countries’ ability to exports and generate incomes. From the South Africa’s agricultural perspective, international trade expands business opportunities, increases access to alternate inputs and improves productivity in the sector - Sifiso Ntombela, Agbiz Head: International Trade and Investment

28.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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SA’s agriculture: Immediate, short, to medium-term view

South Africa’s agricultural sector is continuously influenced by global and local demand and supply conditions, weather patterns and exchange rate fluctuations. This season, weather conditions are once again playing a bigger role with the drought in the Western Cape and the delayed onset of rainfall in Free State and North-West provinces which affected production negatively - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

26.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Information sessions on how to apply for exemption to the National Minimum Wage

As has been widely reported in the media, a cross-cutting National Minimum Wage (NMW) is set to be implemented on the 1st of May 2018. For the first time in South Africa, a minimum wage will be applicable to all sectors and will therefore replace the previous system of sectoral determinations. Initially the minimum wage will be set at R20 per hour with a special dispensation of R18 for agriculture.  Despite the concession for agricultural sector, there are legitimate concerns that not all employers will be able to afford the minimum wage - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Head: Legal intelligence

23.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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A few remarks on the recently signed African Continental Free Trade Agreement

The recently signed African Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) is one of the world's largest free trade blocs and there are a number of reasons to be excited about this developmentDrTinashe Kapuya and Wandile Sihlobo

23.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Broad-based support helps black farmers deliver more

The dark clouds of policy uncertainty and climate change are a form that does not put a smile on farmers’ faces. However, there are some silver linings along the journey of South African agricultural sector that are worth highlighting. While going through my old photos recently, one shot taken four years ago caught my attention... - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz Head: Agribusiness Research - Business Day Column - 15 March 2018

15.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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South African tractor sales for February 2018 fell by 12% y/y

Subsequent to a solid 10% y/y increase in January 2018, the South African tractor sales fell by 12% y/y last month, with 595 units sold. While February is typically one of the months with the highest tractor sales, just before the end of the financial year, this time around most purchases occurred in January, which explains the softening in last month’s activityWandile Sihlobo, Agbiz Head: Agribusiness Research

14.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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SA agricultural trade starts 2018 on good footing

In January 2018, the agricultural sector sprint into a positive net trade of R1.3 billion while the overall economy suffered a trade deficit of R27.67 billion. The positive agricultural trade balance can be attributed to the availability of quality summer fruits and beverage products coupled with improved demand in Europe for South African agricultural products. On the imports side, South Africa still source relative large quantities of rice, oilcakes and processed food from Asia and other markets - Sifiso Ntombela, Trade economist and Head Agbiz Trade and Investment Intelligence

12.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Agbiz/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index Improves in Q1, 2018

The Agbiz/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index improved by 9 points to 58 in the first quarter of 2018, after declining to levels below 50-points mark in the last quarter of 2017 . The survey was conducted between 21 February and 01 March 2018. Therefore, the overall results are somewhat reflective of broader positive sentiment following recent political developments, tail-end benefits of robust agricultural output in the 2016/17 production, as well as favourable weather conditions for the 2017/18 summer crop growing areas of the country - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

12.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Bearish Outlook for Global Grain Prices

One of the most eagerly awaited communications in the global agricultural market is the International Grains Council's (IGC) monthly report. In the last week of February 2018, IGC reaffirmed its view that the world has large grain and oilseed supplies, particularly maize, soybeans and wheat, albeit having declined marginally from the 2016/17 production season - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

09.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Wheat Industry Revitalisation Programme get support from British High Commission Science and Innovation

A South African group of wheat scientists has just returned from a highly successful visit to the UK.  The trip led to intense scientific discussions and crucial information exchange. The positive results and fruitful discussions will contribute towards strengthening the ties between UK and SA scientists - Mariana Purnell, General Manager of Agbiz Grain provides feedback

09.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Expropriation without compensation: What we need now are calm heads and rational thinking

When the news broke on the eve of the 27th of February that Parliament had voted in favour of the motion brought by the Economic Freedom Fighters on expropriation without compensation, I, like many colleagues working in the agribusiness sector, found myself wondering what more this shortened month could possibly hold in store for us - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Head: Legal Intelligence

09.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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SA agri exports hit record level

South Africa’s agriculture exports overshot the US$10-billion mark for the first time last year, up 15% from 2016, with the sector recording a record positive trade balance of US$3.3 billion - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

06.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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SA agricultural economy grew by 17.7% in 2017

After an extended contraction in 2015 and 2016, the South African agricultural economy grew by 17.7% in 2017. This was boosted by strong output in almost all the subsectors, such as field crops, livestock and horticulture, amongst others. In fact, this is also clear from trade data, where the country’s agricultural exports grew past the US$10 billion mark for the first time - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

06.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Agriculture export growth depends on rainfall and rand

South Africa’s agricultural sector has an auspicious outlook, albeit, challenges such as policy uncertainty and climate change remain dark clouds over the sector.  In 2017, South Africa’s agricultural exports grew past US$10.0 billion for the first time, boosted by growth in exports of edible fruits, beverages, spirits, vegetables, grains and other agricultural products. This is a 15 percent increase from 2016 – a year that was characterised by El Niño induced drought - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist and head agribusiness research at Agbiz

01.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Agbiz hosts session on current challenges in the policy and legislation environment

On 1 March 2018, Agbiz hosted a most successful half-day session for close to almost 100 role players and stakeholders in the agribusiness sector. The session focused on current challenges in the policy and legislation environment, as well as developments and opportunities in the agribusiness sector. The event was attend by agribusinesses, financiers, producers and agri-associations. 

01.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Agriculture export growth depends on rainfall and rand

South Africa’s agricultural sector has an auspicious outlook, albeit, challenges such as policy uncertainty and climate change remain dark clouds over the sector.  In 2017, South Africa’s agricultural exports grew past US$10.0 billion for the first time, boosted by growth in exports of edible fruits, beverages, spirits, vegetables, grains and other agricultural products. This is a 15 percent increase from 2016 – a year that was characterised by El Niño induced drought - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz Economist and Head Agribusiness Research

01.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Policy paralysis could create more tenant emerging farmers

They say an apple does not fall far from the tree, this seems to hold when comparing the current and old policies developed in the agricultural sector. Some policies such as land, marketing, infrastructure and training have been repealed and replaced over the past two decades to correct the structural imbalances caused by historic laws between commercial and emerging farming. However, their design and implementation processes tend to either maintain or exacerbate the situation leading to more marginalized emerging farmers and increasing rate of food insecure households in the country - Sifiso Ntombela, Trade economist and Agbiz Head International Trade and Investment

01.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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