Next month our 20th annual Congress takes place on Thursday, September 20th. Over the years, the Union has, on behalf of its members, dealt with and seen countless changes, many of them turbulent, but never so much as our farmers are currently collectively experiencing with the call for Expropriation Without Compensation (EWC) and the potential change to the future of agriculture in South Africa.
Fittingly, the theme for this significant edition of our annual Congress, is “Harnessing our collective power to be an authoritative force”. Within this theme, the focus of Congress will be on the importance of the role of strategy, change management, leadership and the role of members and the Union in influencing the financial, social and legal environment in which the agricultural sector must secure its rights to ensure economic productivity.
To this end, we have chosen our speakers with utmost care and consideration and trust that this 20th sitting of Congress is a memorable one.
President of AgriSA, and a farmer himself, Dan Kriek, will take time out of his busy schedule to attend Congress with an address on agricultural policy issues and the positioning of organized agriculture in the context of EWC.
Our first keynote speaker for the morning is political analyst and journalist, Melanie Verwoerd. Melanie was the youngest woman to ever be elected as a member of parliament, is a former director of UNICEF in Ireland as well as the South African Ambassador to Ireland between 2001 and 2005. Today Melanie is a freelance columnist and political commentator who has written widely about the EWC and the future of land in SA.
The second keynote speaker is Midlands’ based strategist consultant, Dr Mark Manely. Mark will be talking to us on the importance of a focused strategy within its role of leadership in times of transformation, in the media and in civil society.
The day promises to be enlightening and extremely beneficial to the future of organized agriculture.
All delegates and observers to Congress will by now have received the relevant digital pack of information. We are looking forward to comments by delegates during the open session and in turn trust that participation at Congress will be beneficial to members. Aside from the Congress report, we will be sending out a post-Congress newsletter detailing the messages from all the speakers in order to keep all our members informed.