Almost three weeks after announcing the appointment of Dr Sifiso Ntombela as the new executive director of the Animal Feed Manufacturers Association (AFMA), the feed association has informed Food For Mzansi that Ntombela’s appointment has been retracted.
Ntombela, who has extensive experience in the agricultural sector, was announced as AFMA’s new executive director on Thursday, 15 June 2023. His commencement date for the new position was scheduled for Saturday, 1 July.
Food For Mzansi was informed that Ntombela’s retraction was a result of his acceptance of another position within the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development. Ntombela has already begun his new government role as confirmed, starting on 1 July.
The position within the department is expected to allow Ntombela to continue leading the implementation of the Agriculture and Agro-processing Master Plan (AAMP), which is considered a critical step for the success of South Africa’s National Development Plan.
When speaking to Food For Mzansi, Ntombela stated, “It emerged that my superiors decided to redeploy me within the ministry. The spokesperson of (the department of agriculture) will release a media statement.”
Accomplished agricultural economist
The AFMA board has accepted Ntombela’s withdrawal of the appointment as executive director at the feed organisation and wishes him well in his continued role within the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development.
However, they had earlier eagerly anticipated welcoming him as the new executive director and expressed confidence that he would bring significant value to AFMA and the wider animal feed and agricultural value chain.
Ntombela holds a PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Pretoria and is an alumnus of Stellenbosch University, where he obtained his bachelor’s, honours, and master’s degrees.
With over a decade of experience in strategic planning, agricultural policy, and economic modeling, Ntombela is an accomplished agricultural economist. He previously served as the chief economist responsible for trade research and policy advisory at the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) and held the position of head of trade and intelligence at Agbiz.
For the past three years, Ntombela has been the national coordinator of the Agriculture and Agro-processing Master Plan. He played a crucial role in government’s economic cluster and was part of the team of technical experts responsible for drafting the country’s Reconstruction and Economic Recovery Plan in 2020.
Additionally, he continues to serve on the agricultural advisory body for the National Planning Commission and holds the position of vice president in the Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa. Prior to this, Ntombela served as the director for strategic partnerships at the department of public enterprises.
Search for new executive continues
While the board begins the search for the next executive director, Liesl Breytenbach will continue to serve as the acting executive director of AFMA on an interim basis until further notice.
The Animal Feed Manufacturers Association (AFMA) serves as the official representative body of the South African feed industry within the livestock sector and plays a crucial role in the broader agricultural landscape.
AFMA comprises manufacturers of animal feed and feed ingredients, as well as suppliers of feed ingredients. The association represents 99% of broiler feed production and 58% of overall animal feed production in South Africa.
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