13 August 2021
Minister of Minerals and Energy paves the way for embedded generation
In line with President Ramaphosa's announcement a few months back, the Minister of Minerals and Energy has promulgated new regulations to exempt embedded generation up to 100 MW from requiring a licence under the Electricity Regulation Act. There are certain requirements that must be met though. According to the new Regulations, embedded generation up to 100 MW is permitted without a licence but such a facility is still required to register with Nersa. This applies to facilities that are connected to the grid:
  • to supply electricity to an end-use consumer without wheeling (i.e. directly to where it is used);
  • where the generator has entered into a connection agreement with the holder of a transmission or distribution licence (i.e. ‘wheeling’ through a licenced distributor); or
  • where electricity is generated for own consumption.

The Regulations also set out the conditions under which registration can be cancelled as well as the process that must be followed to de-register if a generation facility is being shut down. 

No licence or registration is required where a generation facility is purely used for backup power. In addition, resellers are exempted from the licencing and registration requirement where the price charged does not exceed the tariff that that would have been charged to such customers for the electricity if it had been purchased from the holder of a distribution licence. Resellers that enter into an agreement with a municipality that regulates distribution are also exempted from the licencing and registration requirements. 

Overall, these regulations dramatically improve the regulatory environment as they will reduce red tape for businesses who wish to secure their energy supply through embedded generation. The regulations are linked here.
A new era of reform or political chess game?
.A politically inspired reshuffle, security orientated, or one driven by the urgency of economic reform is difficult to discern in the eclectic mix of new appointments and changes in the cabinet. A mid-course correction is always welcome in times of turbulence. It can signify a leader’s confidence and ability to grasp the nettle and take new bold steps. In the linked article, first published in Business Day, Prof. Mzukisi Qobo, head of the Wits School of Governance, argues that the retention of Zizi Kodwa is likely to raise more questions than inspire confidence in President Ramaphosa’s commitment to ethical leadership.
Coming together
Differences in vaccine access and the ability to deploy policy support are creating a growing divergence between advanced economies from many emerging markets and developing economies. Faced with high deficits and historic levels of debt, countries with limited access to financing are walking a fiscal tightrope between providing adequate support and preserving financial stability. Without resolute measures to address this growing divide, Covid‑19 will continue to claim lives and destroy jobs, inflicting lasting damage to investment, productivity, and growth in the most vulnerable countries. The pandemic will further disrupt the lives of the most vulnerable, and countries will see a rise in extreme poverty and malnutrition, shattering all hope of attaining the Sustainable Development Goals. Read more in the linked IMF blogpost by IMF chief economist Dr Gita Gopinath.
Agbiz policy intern joins the Summer Global Youth Forum 2021
Throughout August, Agbiz’s public policy Intern, Thapelo Machaba, is taking part in the Summer Global Youth Forum 2021 facilitated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Agbiz nominated Thapelo for this opportunity through the BUSA platform and she will hence represent not only South African agribusiness, but South African business as a whole. The online summer programme welcomed undergraduates, graduate students and young professionals interested in pursuing an international career to accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. In the linked article, Thapelo Machaba reports on her experience at the forum.
South Africa’s land policy seeks to boost women in redistribution delivery
In 2020, the South African government approved a women empowerment policy proposing that roughly 50% of the allocation of agricultural farming land under the redistribution programme should be for women, 40% for youth, and 10% for people living with disabilities. Titled “National Policy on Beneficiary Selection and Land Allocation of 2020” the policy is an essential intervention as it outlines who should benefit from land redistribution. It is a corrective method that seeks to address the skewed land redistribution delivery which has historically favoured men and those with political connections. While the origins of these ideas can be traced from South Africa’s 1997 White Paper on Land Reform, it was the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture (panel) that sharpened the framework. Read more in the linked article by Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo, written for and first published in Business Day.
South Africa's agricultural exports on track to beat 2020 
South Africa's agricultural sector is export-orientated. Nearly half of the annual produce, in value terms, is exported in regular and good seasons. The 2020/21 season has been one such season, producing the second consecutive strong output performance, with an even larger harvest for major field crops, horticulture and the wine industry than in 2019/20. This robust production could boost exports to surpass the 2020 level of US$10,2 billion. For example, in the first quarter of 2021, agricultural exports amounted to US$2,9 billion, which is a 28% year-on-year (y/y) increase. We now have the full data for the second quarter which showed an even stronger performance with exports valued at US$3,2 billion, up 36% y/y. This means that in the first half of 2021, South Africa's agricultural exports amounted to US$6,1 billion, which is a 30% y/y increase. Compared with last year, the growth is partly because of base effects, as the first half of 2020 was heavily affected by the Covid-19 related disruptions to global supply chains. Still, the growth reflects rising export performance for various products. Wandile Sihlobo discusses the latest data in the linked article, written for and first published on News 24.
Strong tractor sales signal optimism about South Africa’s 2021/22 summer crop season
We've recently shared our view on South Africa's consumer food price inflation for the second quarter of the year, which is a moderation from the higher levels of 7% y/y in June 2021. Amongst various product prices in the food basket that we expect to soften over the coming months are grains, specifically maize, wheat and oilseed. We initially based our view on the Global Food Price Index, which fell 3% in June from the previous month, the first drop after 12 consecutive monthly increases. This was underpinned by improved production conditions in the northern hemisphere, leading to expected large grains harvest. On 28 July 2021, the International Grains Council released a monthly update of its 2021/22 global grains production estimates. It remains roughly unchanged from June despite the concerns that warm weather conditions in parts of the US might have compromised the crop. For example, the IGC forecasts the 2021/22 global maize production at a new peak of 1,2 billion tonnes, up by 7% y/y. This is on the back of an expected large crop in the US, Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine, China, EU, and Russia. Similarly, the global wheat production conditions have improved. Read more in the linked article by Wandile Sihlobo.
Transnet port operations recovering
In a statement to its clients issued on 10 August 2021, Transnet reported the following on the situation at the ports. Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) has continued to keep their customers and stakeholders informed of the progress made, since Thursday 22 July 2021, both on the ICT and the operational recovery. We will continue to engage in the dedicated daily recovery forums and meetings until all operations and entire supply chains have normalised. The system re-development has continued and the website “Transnet.net” and “https://www.transnetportterminals.net/pages/default.aspx” are online again – with all related updates being relayed through these sites. In addition, all elements of the call centre and modes of communication have now been restored. The TPT invoice portal is now accessible. The spotlight application is working on IOS (Apple devices) but the Android version is still being redeveloped. Please click here for the full statement.
South Africa's raisin production to rebound
The USDA forecasts that South Africa’s raisin production will rebound to normal levels and increase by 19 percent to 85 000 metric tonnes (MT) in the 2021/22 MY, based on normal weather conditions, an increase in area planted, new orchards coming into full production, an improvement in yields due to new varieties and production practices, wine grapes being diverted for raisin production, and adequate availability of irrigation water. The United States was the third-largest market for South African raisin exports accounting for 9 percent of the total export market share in 2020. South African raisin exports enjoy duty-free access to the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Please click here to peruse.
BUSA Covid-19 cargo movement update
Baltic Freight Index
This BUSA Covid-19 Cargo Movement Update – the 50th of its kind – contains a consolidated overview of the South African supply chain and the current state of international trade. Following a disastrous couple of weeks for our ocean freight economy, some normality has been restored to the flow of goods. Unfortunately, Transnet's systems remain compromised. However, a manual process in and around the container terminals was adopted to offset, if only partially, the IT disruptions. Although this approach is far from ideal, business continuity is critical at this juncture. With the lack of reporting, several additional metrics have been included in the latest figures. A serious problem area, which needs addressing, is the unacceptably high number of cancelled booking slots. It remains imperative to ensure a smooth linkage of the waterside and landside operations at the terminals, as the system needs to function in unison. Please click here for the full report.
Call for 30 women agri entrepreneurs to apply for the Developing Women Towards Inclusive Agribusiness Programme
The Embassy of France in South Africa is working with the Entrepreneurship Development Academy (EDA) at the Gordon Institute of Business School (GIBS) and the African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA) to develop a tailor-made programme to support women farmers in South Africa. Thirty women will embark on the three-month programme titled, Developing Women Towards Inclusive Agribusiness, that will be divided into three thematic areas which will run over two weeks each month. The thematic areas will cover self and leadership development like communication and relationship-building skills, building resilience, personal accountability, and effective leadership among other critical skills. Entrepreneurial competencies will form the second thematic area which will cover innovation and creativity, networking and negotiation, and critical thinking among other core skills. Please click here for more information.
The latest ENSO diagnostic discussion is hot off the presses from the Climate Prediction Centre
ENSO-neutral conditions are favoured for the remainder of summer (~60% chance in the July to September season), with La Niña possibly emerging during the August to October season and lasting through the 2021-22 winter (~70% chance during November-January). A La Niña watch remains in effect. Recently, sea surface temperatures (SSTs) were near-to-below average in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific, with above-average SSTs in the far eastern Pacific. In the last week, most Niño indices were slightly negative (-0.2ºC to -0.3ºC) except for the Niño-1+2 index, which was +0.7ºC. Subsurface temperatures cooled considerably in July, becoming quite negative (averaged from 180-100ºW), reflecting the emergence of below-average subsurface temperatures east of the Date Line. Please click here for the full report.
Cotton market report
The coronavirus might have won the battle in 2020/21, driving down global cotton production to 24.2 million tons, a decline of 7% from the season before. However, the industry is responding well and production is expected to rise by 3% in 2021/22 to reach 25 million tons. On the bright side, global cotton consumption and trade have seen a welcome recovery in the 2020/21 season with consumption increasing by 12.4% to reach 25.5 million tons, with a similar trajectory projected for 2021/22. Covid-19 remains a huge problem globally as recent reports from Bangladesh and Vietnam (major consumers of cotton) indicate that Covid infections are on the rise, so lockdown-induced factory closures and shipping problems are still major threats, leaving manufacturers scrambling to fill their orders. Please click here to read the full market report.
Opportunities in agriculture discussed on Tech Terrain talk show
Tech Terrain is an online agricultural talk show focusing on the role of technology and mechanisation in the modern agricultural landscape. In this week's episode, Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase facilitates a discussion on burning issues and opportunities in agriculture. The panellist are Abrie Rautenbach and Dr Langa Simela of Absa, Nico Groenewald of Standard Bank and Dawie Maree of FNB. Please click here to access the episode in English and Afrikaans.
Productivity SA/ BUSA World Entrepreneur’s day invitation 
Productivity SA and BUSA will be hosting the Productivity SA World Entrepreneurs' Day - A spotlight on business turnaround and recovery webinar. The theme of the webinar is: "Resilience, innovation and sustainability - navigating the complexities of Covid-19". World Entrepreneurs' Day is an annual event that is celebrated with the intention to create awareness for entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership. Members are hereby invited to attend World Entrepreneurs' Day virtually on 20 August 2021 at 10:00 to 12:00. Members interested in attending World Entrepreneurs' Day are hereby requested to register by clicking on this link. Queries may be submitted to Tsakane Muavha at tsakane.muavha@busa.org.za.
Invitation to participate in Expo 2020 Dubai
The government has confirmed South Africa’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, which is the latest iteration of the World Expo as convened by the Bureau of International Expositions every five years. Over 190 countries will be participating in this global event that will take place from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, and all African countries will be represented. The dtic is mandated to coordinate South Africa’s participation in the expo. Such participation is underpinned by six thematic months. The programme guide is linked here for your perusal. The world’s largest gathering of commerce, culture and industry will also be an opportunity for businesses to connect with a global audience. It will catalyze collaboration, stimulate innovation and create tangible opportunities for South African businesses. Companies are invited to apply for virtual participation. More information is available here.
Launch of new market access platform
Following a webinar held on 24 May 2021, corporate South African champions were asked to drive localisation linked to the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan. These champions have shown their interest and commitment to further localise their respective supply chains. To assist with this process, the Localisation Technical Working Committee has developed the Market Access Platform (MAP), a tool that will assist in achieving the set targets. Therefore, the Business Localisation Technical Working Committee invites champions, their alternates, and/or their chief procurement officers and procurement teams to a webinar launching the Market Access Platform. This exciting online platform supports and influences both localisation and transformation. It offers corporates a one-stop-shop to find vetted, high-performing, transformed suppliers, local service providers, and manufacturers across various industries. Please click here to register for the webinar to be hosted on 17 August at 10:00.
Get the latest news from the FPEF
Keeping it Fresh, the newsletter of the Fresh Produce Exporters' Forum (FPEF), contains all the recent relevant news and developments. Please click here for the latest edition
Weekly newsletter from CGA
Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers' Association of Southern African, shares the latest news in the citrus industry in his weekly update - From the desk of the CEO. Please click here to peruse.
The latest news from the pork industry
Read more about the latest developments and news in the pork industry in the South African Pork Producers' Organisation's (SAPPO) newsletter, SAPPO Weekly Update.
Sustainability Summit 2021
21-23 September 2021 | Virtual

2021 AFMA Symposium
18-19 October 2021
Enquiries: events@afma.co.za 

Intra-African Trade Fair 2021
15-21 November 2021 | Durban

Agbiz Congress 2022
22-24 June 2022 | Sun City
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