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Kwanalu

The voice of agriculture . Die stem van landbou . Izwe lezokulima

Begrotingsrede 2023: Daadwerklike ingrypings nodig om voedselsekerheid te beskerm | Budget speech 2023: Decisive interventions needed to protect food security

English to follow:

20 Februarie 2023

Terwyl Suid-Afrika wag op die 2023-begrotingsrede wat minister Enoch Godongwana op 22 Februarie sal lewer, is dit van kardinale belang dat die minister maatreëls aankondig om voedselsekerheid in die land te beskerm. Met beurtkrag as die grootste bedreiging vir die land se boere, moet die regering sterk ingryp en hulpbronne toeken om die ergste uitwerking daarvan te versag en om die volhoubare produksie van voedsel in belang van alle Suid-Afrikaners te verseker.

Die begrotingsrede kom op die hakke van president Cyril Ramaphosa se staatsrede, waarin ’n aantal ingrypings aangekondig is om die elektrisiteitskrisis te help verlig. Benewens ’n minister van elektrisiteit of die verklaring van ’n ramptoestand, het die land se voedselprodusente egter konkrete en praktiese begrotings- en fiskale maatreëls nodig om hul lot te verlig.

In die besonder moet minister Godongwana fokus op:

  1. ’n Verhoging in die kortings op diesel en petrol wat vir elektrisiteitsopwekking gebruik word;
  2. Implementering van aansporings om netwerkgekoppelde opwekkingskapasiteit en heraansluiting van buitenetwerkstelsels te bevorder; en
  3. Verlaging of afskaffing van omslagtige belasting op sukkelende landboubedrywe, bv. aksynsbelasting op tabak, wyn en bier, asook die Gesondheidbevorderingsheffing.

Gegewe die president se aankondiging van ’n belastingaansporing vir ondernemings om sonkrag op hul dakke te installeer, moet minister Godongwana besonderhede verskaf oor hierdie ingryping en spesiale bepalings vir die landbousektor.

Die begrotingsrede moet ook voorsiening maak vir die toekenning van hulpbronne vir die bou van nuwe infrastruktuur en die herstel van bestaande infrastruktuur (veral verkrummelende pad- en spoornetwerke) om die sektor en waardekettingvennote in staat te stel om voedsel oor die land heen te voorsien. Dié ingryping is veral dringend aangesien meer as die helfte van die land se provinsies deur vloede geteister is, met vernietigende gevolge vir boere. Daarom moet die ramptoestand met betrekking tot oorstromings ook dringend gepaard gaan met voldoende befondsing om betekenisvolle verligting aan die betrokke gemeenskappe en boere te bied.

Agri SA is diep bekommerd oor die sameloop van uitdagings wat voedselproduksie in Suid-Afrika veral in hierdie tyd moeilik maak. Ter wille van die publiek wat op die sektor staatmaak vir lewensmiddele, en die werkers wat op die landbou staatmaak vir hul lewensbestaan, moet hierdie uitdagings in die begroting geprioritiseer word. Dit is die enigste manier om skerp stygings in voedselpryse, voedseltekorte en werkverliese in Suid-Afrika te voorkom. Agri SA werk steeds onvermoeid om kritieke belanghebbendes te betrek en te verseker dat ons betyds oplossings vir die dringende probleme vind.

Medianavrae

Kulani Siweya

Agri SA, Hoofekonoom

Christo van der Rheede

Agri SA, Hoof-uitvoerende beampte

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20 February 2023

As South Africa awaits the 2023 Budget Speech to be delivered by Minister Enoch Godongwana on 22 February, it is crucial that the Minister announces measures to protect the country’s food security. With loadshedding as the most urgent threat to the nation’s farmers, government must be resolute in allocating resources to buttress farmers from its worst effects and ensure the sustainable production of food in the interests of all South Africans.

The Budget Speech comes on the heels of the State of the Nation Address by President Ramaphosa, in which a number of interventions were announced to help alleviate the electricity crisis. But more than appointing a Minister of Electricity or declaring a State of Disaster, the country’s food producers need concrete and practical budgetary and fiscal measures to assist in their plight.

In particular, Minister Godongwana must focus on:

  1. Providing higher rebates on diesel and petrol used for electricity generation;
  2. Implementing incentives to promote grid-connected generation capacity and reconnection of off-grid systems; and
  3. Lowering or removing cumbersome taxes on struggling agricultural industries such as the excise taxes on tobacco, wine and beer as well as the Health Promotion Levy.

Moreover, with the President having announced a tax incentive for businesses to install rooftop solar, Minister Godongwana needs to provide detail on this intervention and any special provisions for the agricultural sector.

The Budget Speech must also provide for the allocation of resources to building new infrastructure and repairing existing infrastructure (especially crumbling road and rail networks) to enable the sector and value chain partners to reliably supply food across the country. This intervention is particularly urgent now as more than half the country’s provinces have been battered by floods with devastating consequences for farmers. On this score too, the State of Disaster concerning the floods urgently needs to be accompanied by sufficient funding to provide meaningful relief to the affected communities and farmers.

Agri SA is deeply concerned about the confluence of challenges that have come together to make food production in South African especially difficult at this time. For the sake of the public that relies on the sector for sustenance, and for the workers who rely on us for their livelihoods, these challenges must be prioritised in the budget. This is the only way to prevent sharp increases in food prices, food shortages, and job losses in South Africa. Agri SA continues to work with urgency to engage critical stakeholders and ensure that we find solutions to pressing problems timeously.

Media enquiries

Kulani Siweya

Agri SA, Chief Economist

Christo van der Rheede

Agri SA, Chief Executive Officer