30 November 2018
Agbiz publishes a status update on the issues around land reform

On 15 November 2018 the Constitutional Review Committee made the recommendation that section 25 of the Constitution should be amended to 'clarify' that section 25 does make provision for land expropriation without compensation. At this time the conditions under which this may happen are still unknown as Parliament is yet to draft and consult on the exact wording of the proposed amendment. Of critical importance now is the Constitutional Amendment Bill or parliamentary motion that will need to be drafted and the detail that it contains on the conditions under which land expropriation without compensation will be given effect. In light of the above, Agbiz has compiled an eight-page document intended to place the latest developments on expropriation into context and to provide an overview of the broader direction in which land reform is moving.  Please click here to peruse.
Out-of-the-box agriculturist

Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research Wandile Sihlobo was featured in  The Citizen last week. It is encouraging to see how other sectors also acknowledge and appreciate Wandile Sihlobo's talent and commitment to agriculture. In the article, Wandile  attributes his achievements in the agricultural sector to an open-minded approach and he acknowledges how people from all walks of life play a role in forming his unique perspective.  Please click here   to read the article as it was published in  The Citizen
President signs Labour Law Amendment Acts into law

President  Ramaphosa has signed the Labour Law Amendments Acts. What does it mean for agriculture in general and the employer specifically? Elize van der Westhuizen, director of Comply Plus, answers some of the frequently asked questions in the linked article.

Occupational health and safety regulations for hazardous chemicals under the microscope

The Department of Labour recently published draft regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 to regulate the safe use, manufacture and storage of potentially hazardous chemicals. The department seeks public inputs in the second week of December (14th). Ordinarily, regulations of such a technical nature do not receive a great deal of public scrutiny because, frankly, very few members of the public are qualified to pass comments on such a technical piece of work - this author is no exception. Be that as it may, there are a number of legal and procedural issues which warrant further deliberation. Click here for more insights by Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence Theo Boshoff.
Agribusiness Confidence Index for Q4 to be released next week

The agribusiness sector is faced with a wide variety of challenges, ranging from an uncertain policy environment to climate change. Therefore, it is important to analyse and determine the confidence levels in the sector. The Agribusiness Confidence Index is set up in such a way to ensure it measures the business confidence, which determines business decisions, and to a lesser extent capture the emotions and emotional influences on the sector. This makes it very unique and valuable. Decision-makers from within the agricultural sector, as well as from Stats SA, the South African Reserve Bank, the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR), National Treasury, etc. are close observers of this Index. Agbiz will release the Agribusiness Confidence Index results for the fourth quarter of 2018 on 3 December at 10:00. The data and statement will be on www.agbiz.co.za.
South Africa is still dry

In the agricultural sector, all eyes are on the weather as we wait to see if the forecast rainfall materialises within the next two weeks. The past couple of weeks have proved fruitful for the eastern parts of the country and it has enabled yellow maize and soybean planting to start on a sound footing. But the other provinces have not received good rainfall since the beginning of the season, hence crop planting activity have not started in these particular areas. Click here to read Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research Wandile Sihlobo's blogpost, with more details on weather conditions in the provinces.
Why agribusiness in the Eastern Cape is ready for lift-off

Pockets of underutilised arable land places the Eastern Cape and other provinces of similar endowment, in an advantageous position for agricultural expansion.  A few things that are needed are not only to bring that underutilised land in communal areas into full production, but also the optimisation of land reform farms and transitioning them to commercial production, as well as the expansion of irrigation systems in these provinces. Wandile Sihlobo provides more insights in the linked article that was written for and first published on Fin24.
Amid growing interest and debate on blockchain, the WTO launched a new publication this week that seeks to demystify the technology and analyse its capacity to transform world trade. The publication entitled "Can blockchain revolutionize international trade?" explores how the technology could enhance areas related to WTO work and examines challenges that will have to be tackled to unlock the technology's potential. The publication introduces the technology with a basic explanation of how, as a tamper-proof, decentralized record of transactions, it allows participants to collaborate and build trust with each other.  It describes different classifications of blockchains and their current and possible applications in the various areas covered by WTO rules. In doing so, it provides an insight into the extent to which this technology could help with trade facilitation, including how it can hasten the transition to paperless trade transactions.  Please click here to download the publication.
Imported wheat: 200 samples from 10 countries analysed

The Southern African Grain Laboratory NPC renders sincere appreciation to the Winter Cereal Trust for financial support of this annual survey, to Agbiz Grain members for providing the crop samples, as well as DAFF inspectors at the harbours. Composite samples of holds per shipment per country are tested for the presence of mycotoxin residues by means of a multi-mycotoxin analysis for providing representative samples of each shipment of imported wheat. Read more about it in the linked article that was written for and first published in Wheat Focus
2019 DEKALB Create Conferences

First Bi-annual International Soy for Human Health Conference 2019
11-13 March 2019 | St George Hotel | Pretoria

CGA Citrus Summit  
1 2-14 March 2019 | Boardwalk Hotel | Port Elizabeth

Global Cherry Summit 2019
25 April 2019  | Monticello Conference Center | San Francisco de Mostazal, Chile

Ensminger Pig Symposium
22-23 May 2019 | Kopanong Hotel and Conference Centre | Benoni
Why join Agbiz?
  • Agbiz is the only organisation that serves the broader and common over-arching business interests of agribusinesses in South Africa.
  • Agbiz addresses the legislative and policy environment on the many fronts that it impacts on the agribusiness environment.
  • Agbiz facilitates considerable top-level networking opportunities so that South African agribusinesses can play an active and creative role within the local and international organised business environment.
  • Agbiz research provides sector-specific information for informed decision-making.
  • Agbiz newsletter publishes members' press releases and member product announcements.

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