Agbiz has welcomed the emphasis placed by South African president Cyril Ramaphosa in his state of the nation address (Sona) on inclusive economic growth to address key challenges facing the country.
The association of agribusinesses operating in South and Southern Africa said the extensive reference to Eskom and the electricity supply issues impacting negatively on the economy, highlighted the need to implement the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 as a matter of urgency. It said this also highlighted the need to allow businesses and households to generate their own electricity.
Agbiz said the changed attitude towards energy generation, including the move to renewable sources of energy, was strongly welcomed and this needed to translate into immediate action.
Ramaphosa also noted that the country’s ports were congested and inefficient. He said during the course of this year, the government would undertake a fundamental overhaul of Durban port to reduce delays and costs. Agbiz said this had been a challenge for agribusinesses, specifically citrus exports in recent years.
Still opposed to expropriation without compensation
However, Agbiz said it reaffirmed its opposition to the proposed change in the constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation. It said this was an unnecessary and damaging approach to land reform, which would affect investment confidence and the commercial viability of the sector.