I sat down with John Purchase to talk about the state of the agriculture industry in South Africa. We cover the current crippling drought, El Nino, GMO crops, the state of food security and policy decisions around land reform. Plus – Should we be farming Rhinos!
I must point out I spoke to John in early December 2015 so some of the comments about future rain are based on the interview date. As many listeners will know the hoped for rain did not fall and the drought has worsened over the country.
John is currently CEO of the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) of South Africa, having been appointed to the position in 2007. Prior to taking up the position with Agbiz, he was the CEO of Grain South Africa. He started his professional career as a scientist in South Africa’s Agricultural Research Council (ARC).
John was appointed to the Board of the Land & Agricultural Bank of South Africa in July 2012, as well as appointed as Council Member to the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) by the South African Cabinet. John is the current chairman of the CEO Forum, a forum of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) in which the CEO’s and MD’s of agribusinesses and organized agriculture meet with the Minister and senior executives of DAFF (government) to address the critical and strategic challenges facing the broader agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries of South Africa.
He serves on various Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) committees and NEDLAC task teams with regard to policy and legislation matters impacting on the agro-food industry, such as co-operatives legislation, consumer protection legislation (GM labelling), climate change and carbon tax policy, land reform policy and legislation, spatial planning and land use management legislation and expropriation legislation.
Among other awards, he received the 2011 Alumnus of the Year award from the University of the Free State, as well as the 2012 South African Agriculturalist of the Year Award from the South African Agricultural Writers Association. In June 2013 he was also elected to the Board of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association.
We also discuss why we aren’t governed like a normal G20 country, why the specific reasons for his sacking don’t really matter, why we have never been serious about fiscal reform, what this means for our sovereign rating and where we go from here. It’s not all doom and gloom however with both guests finding some silver lining in our current plight.
We discuss why private profits equal country growth, why the only thing you get out of communism is brutality and why we should abolish all race based legislation. We also cover why we need less government in our lives and how redress can come from our humanity not our statute books. I spoke to Herman Mashaba just after the ANC’s NGC at his offices in Sandton.
Herman Mashaba is a leading South African businessman and the founder of hair care company Black Like Me. Founded in 1985 with a R30,000 loan, Black Like Me has grown to a household name in South Africa. He still serves as a non-executive director of the business.
He is currently executive chairperson of Lephatsi Investments, a company he founded a few years ago, operating in the mining, construction and the logistics sectors.
He is the recipient of numerous awards including in 2012 the Ernest and Young Lifetime Achievement Award.
This week we discuss the woes at Eskom, whether we will experience a national blackout, the future of renewable energy and why Eskom might be unmanageable in it’s current form; plus POWER SHIPS!
Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Natal and he is currently the managing director of EE Publishers , the publisher of EngineerIT, Energize, Vector and PositionIT magazines.
Chris has won various industry awards and in 2009, Chris won the South African National Energy Association (SANEA) Journalism Award for “special efforts within the field of journalism to promote greater understanding of energy and its role in sustaining human endeavours”.
Chris has more than 20 years’ experience as a practicing engineer in the energy sector and is a senior member of the IEEE (USA), a member of the IET (UK) and a fellow of the SAIEE. He is also a registered Chartered Engineer with the Engineering Council in the UK and is widely regarded as an expert on the South African Energy Sector.
Prior to this role, Sizwe held the role of senior economist at FNB Wealth and was a member of the investment and asset allocation committees.
He joined FNB in 2008 and was responsible for the analysis of South African and global economic trends and global markets, initially servicing the FNB Commercial and more recently the FNB Wealth segment.
Sizwe holds a Master of Commerce in Economics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
He completed his Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Cape Town and prior to FNB, Sizwe worked at Kagiso Trust Investments and Standard Bank, as a property economist.
Russell Lamberti is the head strategist at ETM Analytics.
Russell has been involved in high-level consulting projects for government and the private sector ranging from feasibility studies to market impact assessments, and now consults full time to the fund management industry where he oversees a team providing research and strategic macro insights to portfolio managers for use in their asset allocation process. He has a passion for economics and financial markets and for individual liberty and economic freedom. His stated goal is see the return of sound, just money, the wholesale reform of our broken financial system, and the diminution of centralised and coercive state power.