KZN Young farmer of the Year Rustin Shawe on his farm near Utrecht.

The KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union (Kwanalu) announced that Utrecht farmer, Rustin Shawe (37), will carry the province’s hopes in the annual 2018 Toyota SA / Agri SA National Young Farmer of the Year competition. Shawe, a beef farmer, was named the provincial winner at the organisation’s annual congress held at the Royal Show grounds in Pietermaritzburg last week.

Also at the congress, political commentator Melanie Verwoerd urged farmers to remain calm and not react to alarmist rhetoric in the media. Verwoerd said farmers represented stability in the agricultural sector beset by transformation pressures and the need to address past injustices. Agri SA president Dan Kriek appealed to farmers to support organised agriculture and its engagement with the “expropriation without compensation” dynamic, while strategy, leadership and transformation specialist Dr Mark Manley reminded farmers that innovative thinking was needed to deal wih change. “Unless you change your thinking, nothing is going to change,” he said.

See below: Advisory panel to help plot land debate

  Today in History  

1962: The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria was officially created after gaining independence from France. 

Also marked today is World Dream Day and World Pharmacist Day.

  News worth knowing  


Human rights attorney Richard Spoor was arrested after a heated fracas with mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe on the Wild Coast which reportedly ended with tear gas fired against anti-mining protesters yesterday. Spoor‚ who represents members of the Xolobeni community who are opposing an Australian-backed venture to mine ilmenite and other heavy minerals on community land south of the Wild Coast Sun Casino‚ was arrested yesterday. A video clip from the scene showed Spoor‚ shortly before his arrest‚ engaged in a heated discussion with Mantashe outside a large marquee erected during the minister’s weekend tour to KZN and the Eastern Cape to address community tensions over several coal and dune mining ventures. It is understood that Spoor was released on warning on Sunday afternoon after being charged with "incitement" under the Riotous Assemblies Act and was due to appear in the Bizana Magistrate’s Court tomorrow. (BDLive)



News that the global oil price surged through the US$80 mark fanned fears that the biggest fuel price hike in South Africa's history could take place in October.  Earlier, the Automobile Association warned that mid-month unaudited data from the Central Energy Fund suggested that “a spike in international oil prices and a huge swing in the Rand/US dollar exchange rate have combined to predict a knockout blow at the pumps at the end of September". Based on the current data, petrol users will be paying ZAR1.12 more per litre, with illuminating paraffin costing ZAR1.17 more, it said. the AA expects diesel users will be hit hardest, with a possible price hike of ZAR1.38 per litre, pushing diesel to within a whisker of ZAR16 per litre. (Fin24)



President Ramaphosa has announced the names of his 10-person advisory panel on land reform. The president announced the establishment of the panel when he unveiled the state's stimulus package on Friday morning in Pretoria. “[The] advisory panel on land reform that will support the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform chaired by deputy president David Mabuza,” he said. The members of the panel are: Dr Vuyo Mahlati, a member of the National Planning Commission and president of the African Farmers Association of South Africa; Prof Ruth Hall, a researcher and professor at the University of the Western Cape’s Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies; Prof Mohammed Karaan, Professor in Agricultural Economics at Stellenbosch University; advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi; Bulelwa Mabasa, an attorney with expertise in land restitution and land reform; Dr Thandi Ngcobo, CEO and founder of the Dr J L Dube Institute of UKZN; agricultural economist Wandile Sihlobo, head of research at the Agricultural Business Chamber of South; Daniel Kriek, president of AgriSA; Thato Moagi, a young emerging farmer and entrepreneur; and Nick Serfontein, chair of the Sernick Group and 2016 Free State Farmer of the Year. (Fin24)



Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago mounted a strong defence of the institution’s independence, saying the only way it can help lower the cost of capital to support economic growth is by controlling inflation as stated in its constitutionally protected mandate. "Monetary policy brings down the cost of capital by reducing inflation, even for the government," he said after the central bank decided to keep its repo rate unchanged at 6.5%. "As long as inflation is high, government will pay more for its borrowing activities. High inflation leads to a high cost of capital." The Bank’s decision prompted a farce from Luthuli House when ANC spokesperson Phelisa Nkomo, who has since been banned from speaking on the economy, issued a statement imploring the monetary policy committee (MPC) to "prioritise the plight of poor South Africans". Those comments were later disowned by the ANC’s economic policy head, Enoch Godongwana, who affirmed the party’s respect for the Bank’s independence. (BDLive)



The cabinet has approved the publication for public comment of a draft law allowing sector-specific numerical targets to be set for employment equity. Currently the Employment Equity Act provides for a system of self-imposed targets that companies set on the basis of the national economically active population. However, this system has not been effective in transforming the economy and ensuring that more blacks and more women are employed in the top echelons of companies. The changes proposed in the Employment Equity Amendment Bill provides that the minister of labour, in consultation with the stakeholders of a particular sector, will set employment equity sector-specific numerical targets. The bill also seeks to strengthen compliance mechanisms. "Sector targets are more realistic to reach because they talk to what peers are achieving within the sector," Chair of the Employment Equity Commission Tabea Kabinde Kabinde said. (BDLive)



The government must regulate travel rental site Airbnb in SA as it is threatening the viability of conventional lodging providers such as hotels and could lead to job losses, the Tourism Business Council of SA (TBCSA) said. Within 10 years, Airbnb — a privately held company established in San Francisco in the US — has rapidly expanded globally, posing a threat to conventional lodging providers.TBCSA’s recently elected chair, Blacky Komani, said the local industry is not opposed to Airbnb, but seeks the regulation of the short-term letting company. "All we want is that Airbnb must operate within a regulatory framework." (BDLive)



The biggest gold deal of the past three years may ease concerns about Barrick Gold Corporation's stagnant production and offer Randgold Resources a reset for its languishing shares. The question is whether the whole will really be greater than the sum of its parts. Canada’s Barrick agreed on Monday to buy London-listed Randgold for about U$5.4 billion (about ZAR77 billion), creating a global gold mining behemoth with a focus on Africa and the Americas. The shares of both companies climbed. “Both sides are each hoping that the other will be the solution to their own problems,” Kieron Hodgson, natural resources analyst at Panmure Gordon, said. (Fin24)



South African Airways is considering cost cuts including selling some assets, following a refusal by banks to lend any more money to the state-owned company, according to City Press newspaper. Management is thinking about selling the airline’s catering unit, Air Chefs, and outsourcing or selling SAA Cargo, the Johannesburg-based paper reported, citing an official it did not identify and an internal report. The company is set to record a R6 billion loss at the end of the current financial year, City Press said, citing the internal report. (Bloomberg)



Japanese-made cars dominate the top five positions on the new Car Maintenance Index 2018, released by market research group New World Wealth. The report suggests that, based on the affordability of maintaining vehicles over the long-term, the top five "best" car brands to own in SA - in no particular order - are Toyota; Honda; Opel; Nissan and Mazda. The research found that, if one looks at the number of cars of 25 years and older on SA's roads, Toyota dominates. Furthermore, a large number of Cressidas, Conquests and Corollas from the 1970s and 1980s are still found on SA roads. The index report concludes that this suggests these cars are relatively easy to maintain and cheap to repair. It also suggests that they give relatively few problems over the long term. For the research, over 30 car brands were considered, including all major car brands available in SA. (Fin24)



Over 500 rhinos were poached for their horns in South Africa in the first eight months of 2018, a 26% fall from 691 in the same period last year, the Department of Environmental Affairs said. This maintains a downward trend since 2014, when a record 1 215 rhinos were poached in the country, but the scale of the slaughter suggests demand remains strong in Asian markets where the horn is prized as an ingredient in traditional medicines. Reasons for the decline include a mobile radar system used to detect poaching activity that the department said in a statement had "ensured the decrease of rhino poaching in high density areas by more than 80%". Initiatives to stem the poaching wave have included plans to relocate and breed new populations on Texas ranches to educational campaigns highlighting the animals' plight. (Reuters)



Nigeria will offer 10 state-owned companies for sale to selected investors and the public in Q4 2018 to raise 289 billion Naira (about ZAR1.4 trillion) toward funding the 2018 budget, the country’s privatisation agency said. Preparations are in the final stages to begin the sale of the companies in industries that range from power through aviation to insurance, Joe Anichebe, a director at Abuja-based Bureau of Public Enterprises, said. President Muhammadu Buhari signed a record 9.1 trillion Naira budget into law in June, with a smaller fiscal deficit compared with the previous year, which the government seeks to fund from sources other than revenue from oil, its main export. (Bloomberg)


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