Agri-sector Unity Forum (ASUF) expresses dissatisfaction on sectoral determination announcement

"Agri-sector Unity Forum (ASUF), as representative of all major agricultural unions, has noted with disappointment the announcement by the Minister of Labour, Minister Mildred Oliphant, that a sectoral determination for agriculture of R105 per day would be instituted as from March 2013", Ms Ntombi Msimang said today.

"This sectoral determination represents an increase of over 50% on the current minimum wage and for most farming enterprises this will be unaffordable. It is especially the enterprises of smaller scale and developing farmers that are now being placed under undue and unmanageable risk".

It is clear that that the input provided by ASUF to the Employment Conditions Commission was not duly considered. Certain undertakings by government with regard to inputs for consideration were also not honoured, which significantly compromised the process of the determination.

“The consequences of this sectoral determination will be retrenchments and reduced employment in the sector, hugely undermined competitiveness of various labour intensive subsectors, and much higher food prices for consumers”, said Ms Msimang. Coupled to higher electricity and input costs, especially in terms of administered pricing, it is clear that food security in South Africa is being put at serious risk.

ASUF is a joint Forum of organised agriculture with a purpose of cooperating more closely in order to develop a greater unity of purpose as well as establish a united voice for the common interests of the broader agricultural sector. Its members include African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA), Agri SA, National African Farmers Union (NAFU), TAU SA, the South African Agricultural Processors Association (SAAPA) and Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz).

Issued by:

Agri-sector Unity Forum (ASUF)

Ms Ntombi Msimang (Chairperson)

Mr Japie Grobler (Deputy Chairperson)