8 February 2019
Agbiz responds to President Ramaphosa's SONA

Agbiz strongly welcomes the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by President Cyril Ramaphosa, and especially welcomes the general thrust of his SONA's focus on revitalising the economy, strengthening education and skills development, restructuring and optimising service delivery by state-owned institutions, and above all the commitment to root out corruption and state capture. Building on his new approach adopted in the 2018 SONA  of instilling a changed vision of hope, unity, service and prosperity, the President has already put in place action plans to address the daunting challenges that confront South Africa and its people. Please click here for the complete Agbiz media statement.
Feedback on discussions at COP24

The Conference of Parties to the Paris agreement on climate change (COP24) met in Poland over December 2018 to concretise some of the commitments made under the Paris agreement. Representatives of BUSA were invited to attend the conference as part of the South African delegation and gave feedback at BUSA's recent Environmental Committee meeting. One of the critical points up for discussion was whether the international commitment to limit global warming to  2 °C  by 2100 would be sufficient to prevent the collapse of key environmental processes. Scientific evidence was presented to support this argument, but it was an area of contention as developing countries and oil-producing countries opposed the revision of targets whilst several environmental groups lobbied for more stringent mitigation measures. A central outcome of the conference was the adoption of the so-called 'rule book', which represents a guideline to member states as to how they must go about implementing measures to mitigate the effects of climate change. The rule book includes the key principle of transparency and regular reporting and the concept of increasing stringency in measures on a five-yearly cycle. This latter concept is largely reflected in South Africa's domestic measures designed to give effect to these commitments as carbon budgets in the proposed Climate Change Bill are assessed on a five-year cycle and the proposed Carbon Tax is also to be reviewed at the same intervals. Both Bills are still in the legislative process where Agbiz, as part of the BUSA team, is advocating for greater alignment between the two Bills. BUSA's feedback from the COP24 is linked.       
How to accelerate economic growth in South Africa

Ricardo Hausmann is one of the world's leading experts on growth and development. In December and January he participated in discussions at a colloquium on economic growth hosted by Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni. In recent years Prof. Hausmann has been a frequent guest of the Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE), and he has offered a range of ideas about how to accelerate economic growth in South Africa. Please click here to peruse some of his key insights.
Amendments to parental leave passed, but not in force yet

The amendments to parental leave brought on by the Labour Laws Amendment Act, 2018 was passed by Parliament last year, but is yet to enter into operation. Once the implementation date is announced, parents will be entitled to 10 days' consecutive leave when a child is born or adopted. The parent of an adopted child will also be entitled to take 10 weeks' consecutive leave if the adopted child is below the age of two. Likewise, a parent whose child is born from a surrogate agreement is entitled to 10 weeks' parental leave when the surrogate mother gives birth. The employee will have to notify the employer in writing as to when he or she intends to take leave. The implementation date is expected to be announced soon. Contact Elize van der Westhuizen (info@complyplus.co.za) or Theo Boshoff (theo@agbiz.co.za) for more information.
Call for comments on Expropriation Bill

The revised Expro priation Bill was published on the 21 December 2018 for comments. The revised Bill incorporates the qualifications and conditions related to expropriation without compensation.  Agbiz  is in the process of preparing comments in line with our prevailing stance on expropriation without compensation.  The final comments must be submitted on Tuesday 19 February. We therefore kindly request Agbiz members to send through your comments and inputs to theo@agbiz.co.za by Friday 15 February to enable us to incorporate any comments received into the final version.
Growing competition for land between agriculture and human settlement in rural South Africa

It seems the remittances from the urban areas and population growth are the main drivers of the expansion of human settlement in rural areas. While there is no credible data to measure the extent of this expansion, anecdotally it is clear that there is growing competition between agriculture and human settlement, particularly in areas that are close to roads.  Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research Wandile Sihlobo provides more insight in the  linked article, written for and first published in Business Day.
SA agricultural machinery sales had a poor start into 2019

South Africa's agricultural machinery industry experienced a rough start of the year with tractor and harvester sales down by 26% y/y and 50% y/y in January 2019. While we didn't anticipate the magnitude of a decline in sales, the trend is not surprising as some farmers made notable purchases of equipment in the past few months, and also the fact that the 2018/19 summer crop production season has not been favourable due to dryness in the western parts of the country. In the near term, we don't expect any recovery in sales as production prospects remain bleak for major summer grains and oilseeds. Wandile Sihlobo shares his view in the linked article.
Wine is looking (surprisingly) fine 

There were fears that South Africa's agricultural exports for 2018 would take a big knock because of the decline in the Western Cape's agricultural production. But the statement released by Wines of South Africa (WOSA), a representative body of the country's wine producers, late in January 2019 was encouraging.. Wandile Sihlobo shares his view in the linked article  written for and first published on  Fin24 .
Citrus Summit attracts high-profile speakers

With just over a month before the CGA Citrus Summit, the organising committee is looking forward to meeting delegates. There will be high-profile international speakers at the summit to be held at the Boardwalk Conference Centre in Port Elizabeth from 12 to 14 March 2019. For more information on the speakers and presenters, visit the CGA Summit web page -  www.cga.co.za  Registrations can also be done through the website. Please click here for more information from the organising committee.
Get the latest on land reform at VKB's information days

VKB will be hosting two information days on land reform issues - on 18 March in Polokwane and 20 March in Frankfort.  Get first-hand information from Dan Kriek, president of Agri SA, and Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz on the current state of affairs. Please click here for more information on the programme. To register, please complete the linked registration form.
Joint statement from DAFF and red meat industry on FMD

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the red meat industry, issued a joint statement on the progress made to contain the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Limpopo on Monday 4 February. Please click here to peruse.
UPL Limited (UPL) today announced the completion of its acquisition of Arysta LifeScience Inc. (Arysta) from Platform Specialty Products for US$4.2 billion. The completion of the transaction, which was signed in July 2018, marks a major step in the history of UPL. The acquisition further strengthens UPL's position as a global leader in agricultural solutions, with approximately US$5 billion in combined sales and EBITDA of around US$1 billion. In pursuit of its long-term vision to be a world leader in the global food network, UPL also launched its new purpose, called 'OpenAg'. It stands for open-minded partnerships and creating win-win partnerships, thus broadening the space to create value along a wider food production network. Press release
News on the BUSA Economic Forum, held in January, and the Draft Expropriation Bill, are two of the topics discussed in BUSA's newsletter - The Bottom Line. Please click here for the first edition of 2019.
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

SA Large Herds Conference
3-5 June 2019  The Boardwalk  Port Elizabeth

13th Agribusiness Africa Conference 
10 July 2019 Premier Hotel | OR Tambo Airport
More information

PMA Fresh Connections: SA Conference and Trade Show 
30-31 July 2019 | Century City | Cape Town
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  • Agbiz is the only organisation that serves the broader and common over-arching business interests of agribusinesses in South Africa.
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  • 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.
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