Minister Rob Davies gazettes the Draft AgriBEE Sector Code
The Minister of Trade and Industry (the dti), Dr Rob Davies has gazetted the Draft AgriBEE Sector Code for public comments and inputs in terms of section 9 (5) of the B-BBEE Act (Act 53 of 2003). The Draft AgriBEE Sector Code is a product of a negotiation process amongst stakeholders in the agricultural sector and alignment with the Codes of Good Practice, a process which was driven by the AgriBEE Charter Council. The AgriBEE Charter Council through the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ms Tina Joemat-Pettersson, submitted the charter to the Minister of Trade and Industry for approval for gazette towards the end of 2011. The gazette means that members of the public have 60 days from the date of publish to make inputs and comments on the Draft Sector Code before it is finalised and gazetted as a legally binding Sector Code.
Minister Davies says that the key highlight of the Draft AgriBEE Sector Code is in dealing with the measurement of the Ownership element.
‘The Draft Sector Code makes provision for division of the Ownership element into two sections i.e. General/Equity Ownership and Land Ownership, thus accounting for the unique make-up of the sector in this respect which is that Ownership can be measured in terms of Equity but also with regard to Ownership of Land as an economic asset. Farming Enterprises can score either on the Equity Ownership indicator, Land indicator or both with a total score limited to the weighting of 20%. Farming enterprises that transfer land in excess of 30% of their land can score up to a maximum of 5 bonus points in proportion to the total land transferred. To further support land reform in South Africa, under Enterprise Development and Socio Economic Development elements, entities get recognition for long terms leases of land to farm workers and/or to emerging black owned enterprises,’ said Davies.
He also said that the Sector Code is also prioritising skills development and land reform project.
‘The agricultural sector has also put more weight on skill development element as compared to the Generic Codes of Good Practice. The emphasis is necessitated by the lack of technical skills and high levels of illiteracy in the sector. The other key undertakings by the agriculture industry is to use Enterprise Development to support mainly land reform projects in terms of mentoring, extension services, capital provision, inputs supply, access to markets, and access to technology and infrastructure, as well as using the element to stimulate investment in rural areas and thus job creation,’ added Minister Davies.
Unlike the Codes of Good Practice, Qualifying Small Enterprises (QSEs) in the agriculture sector will be measured using at least five Elements of the Scorecard instead of four as prescribed in the Codes of Good Practice. The majority of companies in the agricultural sector fall in the category of QSEs and using five elements will make a huge impact on transformation in the sector.
Comments on the Draft AgriBEE Sector Code can be sent to the following email:
Following the successful allocation of 2012 Budget Vote 2012, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries hosted a glittering gala dinner.
The thanksgiving gala dinner was held at the renowned Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) on 3 May. The dinner was part of Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson’s purpose to show gratitude to all role players such as the Portfolio Committee Members, farmers, farmers’ organisations and unions and other parastatals in the sector, who played their part during and before the 2012 Budget Vote. The evening event also gave officials working in the agricultural sector ample time to network and exchange whatever they wanted.
Lulu Johnson, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Deputy Minister, Pieter Mulder and DAFF’s Director General, Mr Langa Zita were some of the luminaries who attended the evening celebration. An ecstatic performance by the legendary Vicky Sampson made thinking easier for all officials gathered at the CTICC as they danced like never before. The Minister thanked all the partners for always working together. “Please leave here with the positive attitude that food security is safe. People are buying less food because they cannot afford it. With these fuel and electricity increases, I think people are going to pay more for food and it is not nice. We need people with expertise to lead our department. Wecannot solve everything instantly, but we are surely heading into the right direction,” she said.
The Minister also saluted the Deputy Minister for always giving her valuable advice. In addition, she said that she has been working well with him for the By Samuel Kgatla past three years, but results are there for everyone to see. “We may come from different political organisations, but me and the Deputy Minister are working hard to ensure that the department prospers,” she concluded.
As part of the Masibambisane Rural Development Initiative (MRDI), President Jacob Zuma and Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson handed over tractors, Nguni cattle and farming equipment to the Peddie and Tanga rural communities in the Eastern Cape on 29 April 2012. President Zuma and other ministers were in the province to roll out projects forming part of the MRDI. They gave over seven starter tractors, ten pregnant cows (heifers) and two bulls to the needy communities. These were accompanied by an assortment of agricultural implements like hoes, spades and watering cans.
The programme is aimed at equipping communities in rural areas so that they can develop themselves, especially in the areas of agriculture. It also aims to tackle poverty. This programme started in Zuma’s rural homestead of Nkandla village and is being chaired by him in his capacity as a community member. Other Cabinet Ministers who took some time out of their demanding schedules by gracing the MRDI event include Edna Molewa of Water Affairs, Thulas Nxesi of Public Works, Gugile Nkwinti of Rural Development and Land Reform, Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet and the provincial MEC for Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, Ms Zoleka Capa.
The project has been helping other struggling communities in provinces such as Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape, where it has already been launched. Since then the project has grown with government and business people pledging support.