From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, this is the Real Economy Report.
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson says volatile food prices in South Africa necessitate local food production and that commercial farmers, as well as small subsistence farmers, should join in. Idele Esterhuizen has the story.
The Minister said at the launch of South African retailer Massmart’s pilot Ezemvelo Direct Farm programme, in Limpopo, that public-private partnerships would be central to developing smallholder farmers and that her department had entered into a memorandum of agreement with Massmart for this purpose.
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson
Joemat-Pettersson urged other retailers to also adopt a direct-farm approach wherein they would source fresh produce directly from smallholder farmers to increase profit margins, while lowering the sale price of products.
The Minister warned that if action was not taken, the volatility of food prices would intensify to such an extent that the poorest in the country would face the brunt of unemployment, inequality and poverty.
Shannon de Ryhove:
Sephaku Cement is making use of Chinese contractor Sinoma International Engineering for the construction of its Aganang cement plant near Lichtenburg in the North West. Leandi Kolver visited the site to find out more.
Sephaku started construction on the R2.3-billion, 2.5-million ton a year Aganang cement production facility late last year with first production scheduled for September 2013, after the commissioning of the plant’s clinker in August 2013.
Sephaku Cement CEO Pieter Fourie explains why a Chinese contractor was chosen for the project.
Sephaku Cement CEO Pieter Fourie
Chinese building style differs from South African style in a number of ways and challenges had to be overcome to make the partnership effective. Fourie elaborates.
Shannon de Ryhove:
Other news making headlines this week: A hybrid funding approach is needed for infrastructure projects; and Imperial logistics business grows despite difficult trading conditions.
Many infrastructure projects in South Africa have a social and commercial component, and therefore require a hybrid financing approach, Deputy Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said at a recent Banking Summit in Johannesburg.
Deputy Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene
Good acquisitions and contract gains have offset the impact of stagnant manufacturing numbers and price competitiveness in Imperial Holdings’ regional logistics business.
Imperial Holdings CEO Hubert Brody
That’s Creamer Media’s Real Economy Report. Join us again next week for more news and insight into South Africa’s real economy.