For Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Thabi Madiba.
Making headlines: Agri SA warns government’s interference in food price problem could have detrimental long-term effects; Ramaphosa urges creative practitioners to play more prominent role in nation-building; And, South Africa publishes draft law to establish holding company for State entities
Agri SA warns government’s interference in food price problem could have detrimental long-term effects;
Industry body Agri SA has warned that government interference in the food market could lead to empty supermarket shelves.
The organisation intends to write to the Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza to request engagement with stakeholders in the value chain on the implications of government’s stated intention of tackling food pricing.
This follows an announcement by Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni that Cabinet has directed the Economic Cluster to put in place an action plan on food prices, food security and access to food.
Food price inflation has remained high despite various input costs having decreased, mostly owing to persistently high fuel costs and loadshedding disruptions.
Agri SA says this highlights the highly complex dynamics of the food system and how, if government wants to substantively address the situation, it must begin by fixing functions within its remit – including fixing road and port infrastructure, reducing rural crime and ending loadshedding.
Ramaphosa urges creative practitioners to play more prominent role in nation-building
President Cyril Ramaphosa noted that with so many countries and societies beset by conflict, South Africa is fortunate that the project of national reconciliation is ongoing and has not been abandoned.
Ramaphosa pointed out in his weekly letter to the nation that artists and cultural workers can exercise their right to freedom of expression in how they chronicle the past and the present, and do so without fear of censure, banning or imprisonment.
He explained that these are the fruits of freedom, but also the fruits of peace.
Ramaphosa called on the country’s creative practitioners to play a more prominent role in nation-building through work that highlights the uplifting, inspiring and enduring aspects of the society and its history.
He explained that contributing to maintaining peace and to advancing reconciliation is the country’s collective responsibility.
And, South Africa publishes draft law to establish holding company for State entities
South Africa has released a draft law that will facilitate the creation of a holding company to house struggling power utility Eskom, rail and port operator Transnet and other State-owned enterprises.
The National State Enterprises Bill, which will enable the formation of the State Asset Management, was released for comment on Friday by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. The Department of Public Enterprises, which currently oversees the State companies and answers to Gordhan, will be phased out as the holding company is brought into effect.
The reform will consolidate the State’s shareholdings within a single entity and define the holding company’s powers, the draft legislation reads.
The move follows years of mismanagement and corruption at State companies that cost South African taxpayers billions of rand. Eskom’s failure to meet electricity demand is has resulted in years of blackouts that have constrained output, while Transnet’s inability to run rail operations at capacity impairs mineral exports.
Should the bill pass, the new company will likely be established after the next government takes office after next year’s election.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today
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