28 July 2016
Policy and legislation
Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act declared invalid

The Constitutional Court on Thursday declared the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act invalid, after finding that Parliament failed to allow for proper consultation before passing the law. The Amendment Act was passed in 2014, and among other things reopened the window for land claims. In excess of 130 000 new claims  have been lodged since June 2014 when the Act was operationalized. In a unanimous judgment, the Constitutional Court has ruled the Act to be invalid with effect from Thursday, 28th of July 2016. Land rights organisations behind the court challenge argued that reopening the window for lodging land claims would prejudice those who applied before the previous cut-off date of December 1998. Parliament now has 24 months to re-enact the law. Meanwhile, the court has further ruled that no land claims lodged since July 2014 may be processed until this is done, or claims submitted before 1998 are finalised. (Source: EWN)
Economic and agribusiness intelligence
Agbiz/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index slightly improves in Q2

The Agbiz/IDC Confidence Index recovered by 4 index points in the second quarter of this year to 47. An index point below 50 indicates contraction in the South African agribusiness activity. Therefore a 47 index point suggests that agribusinesses are still holding a pessimistic view regarding business conditions in the country.  Wandile Sihlobo provides more information in the linked media release»

South Africa's food producer price inflation accelerates - 28 July 2016

The recent producer price index (PPI) data released by Statistics South Africa indicates that in June 2016, producer inflation for final manufactured goods accelerated to 6.8% from 6.5% year-on-year (y/y) in the previous month.

The significant increases were recorded on "sugar, fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy products and other food", of which when put together constitutes about half of the food basket. Wandile Sihlobo provides more information in the linked document».
South Africa's 7th summer crops production estimates paint a mixed picture 

Recent data from the National Crop Estimate Committee showed an upward revision in maize and soybean production estimates. Meanwhile, groundnuts and dry beans saw downward revision.

Sunflower seed and sorghum estimates were left unchanged from the previous ones. The committee will release their final view on this year's crop production volume on the 25 August 2016.

Wandile Sihlobo provides more information in the linked document».
South Africa's agricultural sector experiences job cuts in Q2, 2016

South Africa's official unemployment rate marginally decreased to 26.6% in the second quarter of this year from 26.7% in the previous quarter.  The active labour force currently stands at 15.5 million, down by 1% or 129 000 jobs from the previous quarter. Job losses were spread across a number of industries with notable ones being agriculture and mining.
Moreover, it is worth noting that primary agriculture constitutes 5% of employment in South Africa, which is well above sectors such as mining, and almost at par with the transport industry. Jobs in the agricultural sector were cut by 5% compared to the previous quarter and same period last year. However, this is no surprise as the industry experienced an El Nino induced drought between 2015 and 2016.  Wandile Sihlobo gives more insight in the linked document»
Prioritising Far East markets: South Africa's lemon exports 

A growing presence in the Far East markets is one of South Africa's fresh produce industry's strategic objectives. In 2015, selected Far East markets (i.e. Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Philippines, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Viet Nam and Thailand) constituted 9% of the global market by value. 


Agbiz economists, Wandile Sihlobo and Tinashe Kapuya, provide more insight in the linked document»
Daily market viewpoint on agri-commodities 

South Africa is very much integrated into a dynamic global market, which is characterised by rapid changes.  To support decision makers in this environment, Agbiz members receive daily commentaries on agricultural commodity markets and macro-economic trends via e-mail. The latest and historic commentaries are available on the Agbiz website www.agbiz.co.za
Weekly wrap of agri-commodities 

In addition to Agbiz's daily commentaries on agricultural commodity markets and macro-economic trends that members receive via e-mail, Agbiz will on Fridays consolidate all the weekly key events in the South African agricultural markets in a RSA Agricultural Commodities Weekly Wrap.   The latest wrap is available on the Agbiz website www.agbiz.co.za
Agbiz Grain
National Road Freight Strategy

Comments are invited from Agbiz members on the Draft Report of the Road Freight Strategy. Open draft report here»

Logistics Agbiz Grain participated in the Road Freight Stakeholders Roundtable of the Department of Transport to discuss the Draft Report of the Road Freight Strategy. The process to date has included research into the current regulatory framework and current legislative developments, the scope and extent of the road freight sector and best practices in international road freight regulation. The project has identified a number of issues in need of strategic interventions in the interest of improving road freight operational efficiency and quality, road safety and the limitation of externalities. The Draft Road Freight Strategy has also considered the modal shift "Back to Rail" amongst others. Comments from industry are now required.
Stakeholders should comment before mid-August. Agbiz members can send their responses directly to: Rekha Sookream, Nick Porée & Associates. 
Tel: 031-5665040 | Fax to Email: 0862723145 | Cell: 0825779146
Industry news
SAGIS hosts 19th Annual General Meeting 

The  South African Grain Information Service (SAGIS)  hosted its 19th Annual General Meeting at Menlyn Boutique Hotel in Pretoria last week Friday. The strategic focus of S
AGIS is the provision of reliable and accurate aggregated whole grain and oilseed information to industry and government. This is actual information on the movement of all grain and oilseeds in commercial structures. Development is constantly taking place to provide more user friendly and factual information on a wide range of information classes/categories. This information is also used internationally. Dr John Purchase of Agbiz  was re-elected  as Chairman of SAGIS, while Ms Mariana Purnell of Agbiz Grain was again elected as a Director of SAGIS. Please click on SAGIS Annual Report 2016 to peruse.

SADC Coordinated Regional Disaster Transportation Plan

On 26 July 2016, the Chairperson of SADC issued the Regional Humanitarian Appeal in Gaborone. The Regional Appeal follows a meeting on March 2016 of SADC Secretariat senior officials to consider and coordinate member state responses to the effects of the 2015/16 El-Niño induced drought in the region.
A Regional Response Team was established to coordinate the regional response, following the SADC Council declaration of a Regional Drought Disaster and the issuing of a Statement of Appeal for Assistance. The Secretariat also established a SADC El Nino Logistics and Coordination Team in April composed of SADC Secretariat staff and United Nations' Agencies. They are to prepare a SADC Coordinated Regional Disaster Transportation Plan that will cover transport security; restrictive cross border road transport regulations; harmonization of measures to facilitate clearance of crews, cargo and vehicles in order to expedite the movements; and reducing the cost of transporting humanitarian relief cargo. To plan and coordinate the process, the SADC team and WFP transport and logistic experts have conducted consultations with all key players such as senior officials from government responsible for transport; customs and disaster management; private sector transport and logistics service providers as well as international donors and UN agencies responsible for coordinating humanitarian relief and disaster responses. Click to peruse the Regional Humanitarian Appeal
NWU hosts Prestige Day

NWU hosted its annual Prestige Day on 13 July this year in Vanderbijlpark. Below find linked the Youtube-presentations of the three guest speakers, including Dr John Purchase, Agbiz CEO.
VIDEO 1: Dr Johann de Jager discussing changes in the field of corporate marketing with Mr Theo Venter following a presentation by Dr de Jager to the MBA Prestige Day held at the NWU facility at QUEST in Vanderbijlpark on 13 July 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvuMycn6RUk
VIDEO 2: Dr John Purchase discussing changes and uncertainty in the field of agriculture with Mr Theo Venter following a presentation by Dr Purchase to the MBA Prestige Day held at the NWU facility at QUEST in Vanderbijlpark on 13 July 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxSumbUqUcI&feature=youtu.be
VIDEO 3: Ms Mmabatho Mfikwe discussing the challenges of diversity in the corporate sector with Mr Theo Venter following a presentation by Ms Mfikwe to the MBA Prestige Day held at the NWU facility at QUEST in Vanderbijlpark on 13 July 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olIdxQv5zwk
MasterCard Foundation and RUFORUM Invest in Innovative Agricultural Training in Africa

Download media release»
Upcoming Events
Agbiz Grain Mini Symposium
10 August 2016 | Centurion Country Club, Pretoria.   
Theme: TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE: People, Profit, Planet.
PMA Fresh Connections Southern Africa
17 - 18 August 2016 | CSIR, Pretoria
Food & Drink Technology Africa
14 - 15 September 2016 | Gallagher Estate, Midrand
Tropentag International Conference on Research in Food Security, Natural Resource Management and Rural Development
18 - 21 September 2016 | Vienna, Austria
AMT Agri-Outlook Conference
28 September 2016 | CSIR Convention Centre | Pretoria
Africa Fertilizer Agribusiness Conference
10 - 12 October 2016 | Dar es Salaam | Tanzania
Agbiz members qualifies for a 15% discount on registration when they register online.  Please use the following code to register: agbiz15
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