23 September 2016
Policy and legislation
Minister Rob Davies announces MCEP Industrial Financing Loan Facility

The Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme (MCEP) was designed as an instrument to support enterprises in the production sectors of the economy soon after the onset of the global economic recession to weather very adverse market conditions, secure higher levels of investment, raise competitiveness and retain employment.  The Production Incentive was temporarily suspended in October 2015.   The dti this week announced the partial reopening of the MCEP, which will enable manufacturers to access working capital loans, as well as start-up capital for black industrialists. Please click on press statement for the dti's press release.   The linked report  appeared in BusinessDay this week on the MCEP announcement.
Minister Rob Davies chairs NEDLAC TIC Strategic Session

Minister Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry, this week chaired the strategic session of the Trade and Industry Chamber of NEDLAC. A number of key presentations that were made for engagement purposes are linked below:
- Overview presentation of NEDLAC TIC»  (Presented by Dr John Purchase)  - Business Response to State of the Economy and the 9-Point Plan»
- Mandate and role of Technical Regulatory Infrastructure (SABS, NRCS, NMISA, SANAS)»
- Business response to Technical Regulatory Infrastructure»
- Minister Davies's presentation on trade agreement negotiations»

This coming year increased focus will be placed on the new version of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), and especially "Localization" emanating from it. The Minister also requested that South Africa's Trade Policy Framework, adopted in 2011, be analysed for possible revision.
Agbiz meets with BLSA on Beyond Advocacy Fund

This week Agbiz met with Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) to explore possible access for agribusinesses to participate in the Beyond Advocacy Fund. The Beyond Advocacy Fund (BAF) was established in terms of a Memorandum of Collaboration signed between USAID and BLSA in November 2013. The Fund, which is co-financed by matching commitments of US$1.5m each from USAID (in cash) and BLSA (in cash or in-kind contributions), will operate for an initial period of three years, which is extendable depending on the performance of the Fund, the availability of resources and initiatives which reflect the purpose, principles and criteria that underpin its operation. The BAF was conceived as a tool to help address South Africa's major development challenges by catalysing BLSA's members to work with the Government of South Africa on collaborative projects that address SA's most pressing development challenges . The Fund aims to promote partnership-based approaches between government and business to identify, test and replicate innovative and lasting solutions to major development challenges the country confronts, including youth unemployment. The work of the BAF should be closely aligned to the development and poverty reduction goals and approaches outlined in the National Development Plan.  The BAF has the potential to assist agribusinesses with development projects.   Please click on BAF to peruse full document.
Public Consultation on Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Policy and Bill (PDALB) extended

The draft Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Policy and Bill (PDALB) as per Government Gazette Number 40247, Notice Number 984A are now available for the second round of reviews and open for comment until 30 October 2016. The updated document, Draft PDALB - Version 2,  incorporates public comments received from the first phase of public engagement. This Bill is focused exclusively on land use and not land ownership.  Three more workshops are still to be held by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) on the PDALB in  Stellenbosch,  East London and  Pietermaritzburg. Mariana Purnell, General Manager at Agbiz Grain provides more information in the  linked document»
Economic and agribusiness intelligence
South African food inflation accelerates

Recent data from Statistics South Africa indicates that in August 2016, headline inflation decelerated in July 2016.  Overall food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation remained unchanged from the previous month. However, leaving beverages component aside, food inflation accelerated in July 2016. Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of economic and agribusiness research provides more information in the linked update»
Agribusiness confidence improves significantly

The Agbiz/IDC confidence index recovered 13 points to 60 in the third quarter of this year, after remaining below 50 index points for five consecutive quarters.   This is the highest reading since the third quarter of 2014.  Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of economic and agribusiness research, says this suggests that agribusinesses are holding an optimistic view regarding business conditions in the country.   Find linked the full media release»

In addition, read Wandile Sihlobo's opinion in BusinessDay: 

Over the years, there have been a number of structural changes in the South African agricultural markets which has had a significant influence on trade and marketing of agricultural commodities, particularly maize.  Wandile Sihlobo identifies unexploited potential markets for South African maize industry in the linked article»
Daily insight into agri-commodities 

Daily commentaries on agricultural commodity markets and macro-economic trends are available on the Agbiz website  www.agbiz.co.za
International trade intelligence
Progress with SADC-EU EPA negotiations and implementation

The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was signed on 9 June 2016 in Botswana on behalf of SADC members and EU representatives.  South African Parliament on 30 August 2016 ratified the Agreement, followed by other SADC members.  On 14 September 2016 the Agreement was approved by Members of the European parliament.   The deal will now need to be formally approved by the European Council.  All SADC Members have ratified it and have submitted it to the EU, while they members will liberalise 86% of the tariff lines over a period of ten years.  SADC-EU EPA will from 1 October be implemented provisionally by EU until all other EU members have ratified it.  This process could take anything from two to five years to be completed. 
Michael Mokhoro, Stakeholder Relations Manager of South African Wine and Brandy says that this will grant improved access to the EU market and duty-free market access for the South African Wine and Brandy Industry as from 1 October this year .  The South African Wine and Brandy Industry can export 110 million litres duty-free to the EU with an additional 1 million litres duty free annually.  The South African Wine and Brandy Industry would be expected to use the duty free quota to its maximum.
Agbiz Grain
Mycotoxins on grain and grain products

The Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has amended the regulations governing tolerances for fungus-produced toxins in foodstuffs. Read more about the new regulations in Government Notice No.1145» 
Skills development in agribusiness
Agbiz congress students attend leadership summit

Agbiz congress students recently attended a Leadership Summit in Bloemfontein, hosted by BathoPele Agri Development Institute in conjunction with John Deere Financial and Absa Agribusiness.  The summit focused on empowering students to develop a magnificent career in agriculture by understanding their own strengths and weaknesses, by making positive choices and by setting goals.   Read more»

Pascalina Mohlotsane, one of the students who participated in the summit, shared her experience with OFM listeners.  Click here to listen»
Agribusiness Centenary Bursary - Apply now

Agbiz is making available an annual bursary to a South African student registered for a Masters or PhD degree in either agricultural economics or agribusiness management related fields. The application deadline is 9 December 2016.  More information»
Members' news
GWK building rockets, winning awards and innovating for agriculture
GWK recently scooped a Gold at the 2016 Loerie Awards for their animated TV and online advert, highlighting the important role that farmers play in society. Read more»
Another successful year for Durban Fresh Produce Market

View the September newsletter here»
Industry news
Presentations to Portfolio Committees in Parliament

Committee for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries:
The International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) briefed the Portfolio Committee for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Parliament on poultry and grain import tariffs this past week. Please click on ITAC Briefing  to peruse.
Launch of the NEPAD PARDEE Zero Hunger Report

The New Partnership for Africa's Development Planning and Coordination Agency (NEPAD Agency), the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), and the Pardee Center for International Futures launched the NEPAD PARDEE Zero Hunger Report in Pretoria on 13 September 2016. The study report is intended for Governments and regional bodies and policy analysts to stimulate, inform and possibly guide national level critical analysis and determination of national pathways that will work to eliminate hunger and food insecurity by 2025.  More information»
News around the web
SA Premier Business Awards call for entries

Business enterprises are invited to submit entries for the 4th annual South African Premier Business Awards by 30 September 2016. Entries may be submitted in a range of categories, including technology, manufacturing and women in business.  The Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies has described this event as South Africa's apex business awards which brings together all single sectored awards into one big, national business awards. Read more»
$30bn boost for African agriculture 
- Let's turn pledges into businesses!  

Has Africa's growth run out of steam? This question has been on the minds of many investors, business leaders and policy makers as they observe increasing interest in key industries such as agriculture, energy and technology, with however limited access to financial resources. Companies (African and international) are looking for business-building opportunities and governments are seeking to accelerate growth by diversifying their economies.   Read more»
Upcoming Events
AMT Agri-Outlook Conference
28 September 2016 | CSIR Convention Centre | Pretoria
Maize Trust's Showcase Day 
30 September 2016 | Grain Building Auditorium | Willows, Pretoria
The Maize Trust's Showcase Day replaces the trust's traditional Annual General Meeting and promises to be a very interesting and informative event. 
More information:  gbconference@mweb.co.za .  
Click to peruse the  programme»  
International Conference on Research Infrastructure
3 - 5 October 2016 | Cape Town
Click for  more information»
Agri 5 Commodities Workshop
5 - 6 October 2016 | Bloemfontein
Subtrop Marketing Symposium
9 November 2016 | Emnotweni Arena | Mbombela
The symposium provides an opportunity for players in the South African subtropical fruit and nut industries, including growers, packers, processors, marketers and retailers to network, socialize and gain insight to the industries current trade, marketing and economic affairs.
For more information please contact Lizette de Wet on 015 307 3676 or email lizette@subtrop.co.za
Africa Fertilizer Agribusiness Conference
10 - 12 October 2016 | Dar es Salaam | Tanzania
Members of AGBIZ can register for the conference here using the code AGBIZ1 and will save 15% off the final delegate rate.   The brochure with details of all the sessions and the expert speaker panel can now be viewed here .   More information»
Africa Agri Investment Indaba
28 - 30 November 2016 | Cape Town International Convention Centre
Water & Climate Congress
22 - 24 March 2016
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