Home News Five things happening in SA agriculture today, 6 October 2020

Five things happening in SA agriculture today, 6 October 2020

Fuel prices come down, parliament discusses ULTRA Bill and covid-19 procurement in environment, fisheries and forestry, a protest against farm attacks and a webinar on fresh water resources

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October is already shaping up to be an eventful calendar month in local agriculture.

Today we track the buzz in parliament with departmental committee meetings and it’s time for another fuel price hike, with schedules for different provinces being announced.

Two suspects appear in court for the murder of a young Free State farm manager and a mass protest takes place outside the court. Later, an international webinar around the world’s freshwater resources takes place.

1

Parliamentary legal teams give input on ULTRA Bill  

Within the virtual corridors of parliament today, parliamentary legal services provide input on the Upgrading of Land Tenture Rights Amendment (ULTRA) Bill during a meeting of the portfolio committee on agriculture, land reform and rural development.

The virtual meeting starting at 12:00 will see attendees taking a vote on the ULTRA Bill taking into consideration public comments.

Virtual public hearings had been held on five occasions during August 2020. The main questions that were raised during these hearings were:

  • whether there were constitutional questions resulting from the Bill;
  • whether the Bill adequately addressed the court’s invalidity declaration on clauses that violated women’s rights to own property;
  • what the emerging policy and oversight questions from this Bill were; and
  • what possible options there were for taking the Bill forward.
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The committee wants to hear from the internal legal advisors before making a decision. Should the need arise, external legal advisors will also be consulted.

2

Environment portfolio committee briefing on AG report and SANparks allegations

In another parliamentary sitting, the portfolio committee on environment, forestry and fisheries will be briefed by the department virtually during a meeting from 09:00 to 13:00.

The briefing is relation to the procurement of goods and services around covid-19 following the report published by the Auditor–General. In addition, a briefing will be done by the public entity SANParks on allegations raised by the former employee on the SANParks management.

3

Another fuel price adjustment

The fuel prices schedule for the different zones will be published today. This after minister of mineral resources and energy, Gwede Mantashe, announced that there would be an adjustment in fuel prices with effect from Wednesday, 7 October 2020.

The fuel price hike is based on current local and international factors that include the rand versus US Dollar exchange rate and a decrease in the prices of crude oil and refined petroleum products, amongst others.

The fuel price moves for October 2020 are as follows:

  • Petrol (both 93 ULP and LRP): twenty three cents per litre (23.00 c/l) decrease
  • Petrol (both 95 ULP and LRP): thirty two cents per litre (32.00 c/l) decrease;
  • Diesel (0.05% sulphur): ninety cents per litre (90.00 c/l) decrease; and
  • Diesel (0.005% sulphur): ninety three cents per litre (93.00 c/l) decrease;

4

Mass protest as farm murder case goes to court

Two suspects, aged 34 and 43, will appear in the Senekal magistrate’s court today on a charge of murder following their arrest in connection with the murder of Free State farm manager Brendin Horner.

The 21-year-old was senselessly killed last Friday, with his body tied to a pole in an open space on De Rots farm, west of Bethlehem.

A mass protest will take place in Senekal today following Horner’s death. South Africans are urged show support for the family of the deceased by showing up at the peaceful protest starting at 10:00 for 11:00 outside the court. The organisers have emphasised that racism and old South African flags are not welcome at the protest.

5

International webinar on world’s freshwater resources

Sit in on an international Zoom webinar on challenges and opportunities around the world’s freshwater resources.

This presentation hosted the NYU Institute in Abu Dhabi is free and takes place at 16:30 South African time with guest speaker Peter Gleick, president emeritus and co-founder of the Pacific Institute.

Learn how freshwater is vital for human and environmental health, industrial activities and food production, the production and use of energy, and much more. The talk further provides an overview of current challenges associated with the world’s freshwater resources, a vision of a more positive and sustainable future, and pathways to achieve that future.

Click her to register for: The World’s Freshwater Resources: Challenges and Opportunities

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Duncan Masiwa
Duncan Masiwa
DUNCAN MASIWA is a budding journalist with a passion for telling great agricultural stories. He hails from Macassar, close to Somerset West in the Western Cape, where he first started writing for the Helderberg Gazette community newspaper. Besides making a name for himself as a columnist, he is also an avid poet who has shared stages with artists like Mahalia Buchanan, Charisma Hanekam, Jesse Jordan and Motlatsi Mofatse.
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