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South Africa amends Agri-BEE sector code to boost the country’s agri-business

Dr Rob Davies, minister of trade and industry in South Africa, has gazetted the amended AgriBEE sector code for implementation by entities in both public and private sector, aiming to transform the agriculture sector in the country

The new code replaces the old AgriBEE sector code which was gazetted in December 2012.

Commenting that agriculture is the bedrock of a country’s economy and an important contributor to its development, Davis said, “This is evident by the latest Q3 2017 statistics on GDP which shows that agriculture production has risen by 44.2 per cent and was the main driver of the two per cent GDP growth of the third quarter.”

The scope of application of the amended AgriBEE sector code includes:

· The primary production of agricultural products.

· The provision of inputs and services to enterprises engaged in the production of agricultural products.

· The beneficiation of agricultural products whether of a primary or semi-beneficiated form.

· The storage, distribution, and trading and allied activities related to non-beneficiated agricultural products.

“One of the major highlights of the Amended AgriBEE sector code is an increase of the target for supplier development to three per cent of Net Profit After Tax (NPAT). The aim is to create a pipeline of black suppliers and black industrialists within the value chain of the South African agricultural industry,” he further indicated.

In addition to strengthening the drive towards creating black suppliers, black commercial farmers and black industrialists, enhanced recognition has been given to initiatives that result in Greenfield ventures, job creation and beneficiation of primary products, support for land reform projects and support for localisation of goods and services not being produced in SA currently, the minister added.

Furthermore, the sector code also make a provision for the current owners of land to transfer at least 30 per cent of productive agricultural land to black people under the ownership element. The 30 per cent land ownership target is not static and therefore it shall be reviewed from time to time, the minister added.