The National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) has on 30 June 2023 organised its annual virtual Transformation Workshop that took place from 09:00 am to 12:00. NAMC, and Transformation Managers engaged on critical issues affecting the speeding up of transformation using Transformation Guidelines for the South African agricultural sector.

During the event, several presentations were made to share insight into the to shed 2022 Transformation Report, including sustainable transformation as well as AgriBEE Sector Code Enterprise Development Guidance Letter.

Setting the tone for the workshop, Brian Makhele started by presenting key findings from the latest published report on the progress made in relation to transformation in the agricultural sector through levies and trusts. The report highlighted the levies and spending, accomplishments, challenges, and employment equity, emphasising the importance of collaborations and inclusivity.

According to the report, trusts and levy administrators spent about R235 million on transformation in 2022. During his presentation, Makhele highlighted the NAMC’s Transformation Review Committee role and explained that the Committee’s role is to ensure that industry business plans are aligned with transformation guidelines as well as monitoring and evaluating projects that are funded to advance transformation in the sector.

Furthermore, the report indicated that black people are still less represented in the sector, with a market and employment equity of approximately 10% and 32.7%, respectively.

Rudolph Abercrombie thanked the NAMC for the report. He further invited NAMC to present the report to the Broad–Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Charter Compliance and the AgriBEE Charter Council to benefit as many stakeholders as possible.

The study by NAMC titled “Sustainable Transformation of South Africa’s Agri-food System through Statutory Incentives: Evidence from Agricultural Industries” was also presented, and research findings focused on the effectiveness of statutory incentives to promote sustainable transformation in the agri-food system. The study was based on data collected from different agricultural industries earlier this year. Lindikaya Myeki, NAMC official who led the research project, stated that the study looked at the issue of transformation, looked at economic orientation in relation to the agenda of transformation. “We did not   diversify our thoughts to consider what could have been achieved if we included other fields of study. For example, the study incorporates psychology to see what we might gain from incorporating other fields, so that we can improve our efforts toward sustainable transformation.”

The study identified potential areas for improvement and provided recommendations to enhance the impact of these incentives. One of the major findings of the study was that adults agreed that statutory incentives were effective in promoting sustainable transformation whereas youth, on the other hand, disagreed – suggesting perhaps that we have not done much to assist youth farmers or beneficiaries. Concluding his presentation, Myeki indicated that the study took an exploratory approach and acknowledged that there was a room for improvement.