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17
Aug

Notice of Annual General Meeting 6 September 2017

Dear SAMAC member

 

It was recently brought to the attention of the SAMAC board that due to a legal technicality in the announcement of the General Meetings regarding the adoption of proposed Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI), voting on the MOI, SAMAC directors and the statutory levy will be postponed and no voting will take place this week.

 

Therefore only the SAMAC AGM will take place at the Sibaya Casino on Wednesday September 2017. The meetings scheduled for Levubu and Nelspruit on 7 & 8 September respectively have been cancelled.

 

The board will shortly send out a communication regarding the rescheduling of the voting on the three motions. In the interim the board has taken the opportunity to address some areas of dispute and we believe we have come up with solutions acceptable to all.

 

We apologise for any inconvenience caused but believe the long term benefits will be worth the delay.

 

Kind regards

 

SAMAC Board of Directors

 

14
Aug

Nasionale Minimumloon: Wie, waar, hoekom en hoe?

Nasionale Minimumloon: Wie, waar, hoekom en hoe?

Die Nasionale Minimumloon wetsontwerp, sowel as die NEDLAC ooreenkoms, blyk ‘n groot bron van kommer te wees in die landbousektor. Hierdie dokument lig die mees belangrike aspekte van beide uit:

1. Die teikendatum is 1 Mei 2018:

Die bogenoemde teikendatum word in die NEDLAC ooreenkoms uitgesit, en dit beteken dat die regering nasionale wetgewing tussen nou (Augustus 2017) en die teikendatum (1 Mei 2018) wil promulgeer en implementeer.

Gegewe dat die wetsontwerp waarskynlik hewig by NEDLAC gedebatteer gaan word en daarna nog deur parlementêre prosesse moet gaan voor goedkeuring, is die tydsraamwerk besonder kort. Tydens ‘n gesprekforum met die Departement van Arbeid op Vrydag 10 Augustus het dit duidelik geword dat die implementeringsdatum nie geskuif gaan word nie, maar ook nie sonder die nuwe wet ingebring kan word nie. Amptenare kon nie die teenstrydigheid aanspreek nie.

Nietemin sal Agri SA voortgaan om deel te neem aan die proses en seker maak dat die belange van die landbousektor beskerm word. Deur BUSA lewer Agri SA kommentaar op die wetsontwerp en word daar seker gemaak dat die wetsontwerp binne die bestaande arbeidswetgewing inpas. Verder vergader Agri SA Maandag met die CCMA om verhoudinge te verstewig. Die CCMA gaan die aangewese forum wees waar geskille oor minimumlone aangehoor word.

2. Die voorgestelde minimumloon is R20 per uur:

Die ooreenkoms vermeld twee uitsonderings: Huiswerkers kwalifiseer vir 75% van die minimumloon (R15 per uur), en werkers in die landbousektor vir 90% van die minimumloon (R18 per uur). Hierdie uitsondering is soortgelyk aan internasionale tendense, waar werkers in hierdie twee sektore normaalweg ‘n persentasie van die totale minimumloon betaal word, of heeltemal uit so ‘n ooreenkoms gelaat word.

In die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks, met ons hoë werkloosheidssyfer, bly die vraag of ons die werkloosheidskoers wil vererger, of meer mense toegang wil gee tot werk, teen laer betaling. Die regering sal nie hele sektore toelaat om nie die minimumloon te betaal nie, maar het besluit dat ‘n Nasionale Minimumloon Kommissie tot stand gebring moet word, wat spesifiek navorsing sal doen om die vlak van die minimumloon te bepaal, en ook metodes om die betaling van die minimumloon te beloon, sal ondersoek.

Die huidige minimuloon soos bepaal in die landbou sektorale vasstelling is R15.39 (Maart 2017 to Februarie 2018). In Maart 2018 sal dit verhoog na R15.39 + CPI (5.5% geskat) + 1% = R16.39 (Maart 2018 – Februarie 2019). Dit bring die minimumloon volgens sektorale vasstelling na R1.61 per uur minder as die Nasionale Minimumloon, wat op 1 Mei 2018 sal inskop.

Aftrekkings wat volgens die sektorale vasstellings toegelaat word (soos behuising), sal steeds toegelaat word. Die sektorale vasstellings sal voortaan as skedules aan die Wet op Basiese Diensvoorwaardes geheg word, eerder as aparte sektorale vasstellings soos nou die geval is.

Die Nasionale Minimumloon is van toepassing op die volgende kategorieë werkers:

  1. Voltydse werkers.
  2. Deeltydse werkers.

Die Nasionale minimumloon tref nie onderskeid wat gebied betref, soos die sektorale vasstellings soms doen nie.

Die Nasionale Minimumloon word aan werkers betaal vir ure gewerk, en sluit bonusse en ander voordele uit. Aftrekkings ingevolge artikel 34 van die Wet op Basiese Diensvoorwaardes word toegelaat, met die instemming van die werker.

Dit is belangrik om te onthou dat dit die werkgewer se verantwoordelikheid is om produktiwiteit te bestuur, en dat dit meer en meer belangrik gaan word om die produksie van werkers korrek te bestuur, soos arbeidskoste verhoog.

Die doelwit is om huiswerkers en werkers in die landbousektor binne twee jaar op dieselfde vlak te betaal as werkers in ander sektore. Dit sal onderhewig wees aan die navorsing wat deur die Nasionale Minimumloon Kommissie gedoen sal word.

3. Werksure sal vooraf vasgestel word:

Die huidige voorstel is dat ‘n werker vir ‘n minimum van 4 ure per dag vergoed word, ongeag hoe lank daar gewerk is.

4. Die Nasionale Minimumloon word slegs elke tweede jaar hersien:

Dit beteken dat die minimumloon eers weer in 2020 hersien sal word, en werkgewers het die diskresie om verhogings (al dan nie) in 2019 toe te staan.

5. Die Nasionale Minimumloon is onderhewig aan dieselfde kwytskelding (exemption) proses as die huidige sektorale vasstelings:

Volgens die huidige vasstellings mag werkgewers ingevolge artikel 50 van die Wet op Basiese Diensvoorwaardes aansoek doen vir kwytskelding. Dieselfde proses sal met die Nasionale Minimumloon gedoen word, maar die aansoeke moet binne 30 dae hanteer word. Indien ‘n werkgewer nie binne 30 dae terug hoor vanaf die Departement van Arbeid nie, mag die werkgewer aanneem dat die kwytskelding toegestaan is. Die proses sal ook elektronies hanteer word, baie soos SARS se e-filing stelsel.

6. Werkgewers mag nie diensvoorwaardes wysig as gevolg van die Nasionale Minimumloon nie:

Volgens die NEDLAC ooreenkoms sal geen werkgewer toegelaat word om eensydige veranderinge aan diensvoorwaardes soos werksure te maak as gevolg van die implementering van die Nasionale Minimumloon nie. Deur dit te doen sal ‘n werkgewer hom skuldig maak aan nie-nakoming (non-compliance), en/of ‘n onbillike arbeidspraktyk. Afleggings as gevolg van die implementering van die Nasionale Minimumloon kan werkgewers blootstel aan nie-nakoming of onbillike ontslag-sake. Die regering het aangedui dat werkgewers bygestaan sal word om die Nasionale Minimumloon aan werkers te kan betaal, en die bystandsmetode sal bepaal word deur die navorsing wat die Nasionale Minimumloon Kommissie sal moet doen.

7. Ten slotte:

‘n Minimumloon is nie ‘n vreemde konsep vir die landbousektor nie, siende dat die sektor se arbeidskoste alreeds sedert 2003 deur sektorale vasstellings bepaal word. Hierdie sektorale vasstellings word grootliks nagekom, veral in Gauteng en die Wes-Kaap, met die kwytskelding proses wat nog altyd ‘n opsie is vir werkgewers wat nie die minimumloon kan bekostig nie.
Agri SA moedig nakoming van die Nasionale Minimumloon aan, en sal elke geleentheid benut om die wetlike proses te beïnvloed om te verseker dat werkgewers in staat gestel sal word om werkers volgens die Nasionale Minimumloon te betaal, en sodoende groei en voorspoed in die landbousektor te verseker.

Jahni de Villiers
Hoof: Arbeid en Transformasie

14
Aug

National Minimum Wage: Who, where, why and how?

National Minimum Wage: Who, where, why and how?

The National Minimum Wage Bill, as well as the agreement signed at NEDLAC (hereafter the NEDLAC agreement) in February 2017, has been a source of concern within the agricultural sector. This document highlights the most important aspects of the agreement reached, as well as specific provisions in the draft Bill:

1. The target date is 1 May 2018:

In the NEDLAC agreement, a target date is set at 1 May 2018. This means that government wants national legislation, enforcing the national minimum wage, promulgated and implemented between now (July 2017) and the target date.

Given that the bill is currently at NEDLAC where it is foreseen that it will be robustly debated, and that it will still need to go through the parliamentary processes before it becomes law, this timeframe is extremely narrow. During a discussion forum with the Department of Labour on Friday 10 August 2017, it became apparent that the implementation date will not be moved, but that the minimum wage cannot be introduced without the new legislation. Officials could not clear up this contradiction.

However, Agri SA remains committed to participating in the process, and will make sure that the interests of the agricultural sector are served. Through BUSA, AgriSA can comment on the draft legislation, and ensure that it fits into the current employment legislation framework. Furthermore, Agri SA is meeting with the CCMA National Office on Monday 13 August to strengthen relations. The CCMA will be the forum where disputes regarding the minimum wage will be adjudicated.

2. The proposed minimum wage is R20 per hour:

The agreement stipulates two exceptions: Domestic workers qualify for 75% of the minimum wage (R15 per hour), and workers in the agricultural sector will be paid 90% of the minimum wage (R18 per hour) as from 1 May 2018. It is important to note that this dispensation is on track with international trends, where workers in these two sectors are often paid a percentage of the agreed minimum wage, or excluded in total.

In the South African context, with such a high unemployment rate, the critical question remains whether we want to exacerbate the unemployment challenge or whether we want to give more people the opportunity to be employed at lower wages. Government will not allow whole industries to opt out of paying the National Minimum Wage, but has resolved that a National Minimum Wage Commission will be created, with the view of providing research to support the level at which the National Minimum Wage is set as well as providing guidance on incentivising the payment of the National Minimum Wage.

The current hourly rate in terms of the sectoral determination is R15.39 (March 2017 to Feb 2018). In March 2018, this will increase to R15.39 + CPI (5.5% forecast) + 1% = R16.39 (March 2018 – Feb 2019). This brings the sectoral determination to R1.61 per hour less than the National Minimum Wage, which will be applicable as from 1 May 2018.

Deductions which are made in accordance with the sectoral determination, will still be allowed. The sectoral determinations will be attached as schedules to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, instead of stand-alone determinations as they are now.

NMW is applicable to the following categories of workers:

  1. Fulltime employed workers.
  2. Casual workers.

The National Minimum Wage is not subject to the distinction between urban and non-urban areas, as is found in the current sectoral determinations.

The National Minimum Wage is calculated as money paid for hours worked, it excludes bonuses and other benefits. Deductions are allowed in accordance with section 34 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, and must be agreed to by the employee.

It is important to remember that managing productivity is the responsibility of the employer, and it will become more important to manage productivity properly as the cost of labour increases.

The aim is to elevate both the domestic worker and agricultural sectors to be on par with the National Minimum Wage, within two years of implementation. This will be subject to research done by the National Minimum Wage Commission, which will be established in terms of the National Minimum Wage Act.

3. Minimum working hours will be determined:

The current proposal is that workers will be paid for 4 hours of work, regardless of how long they worked.

4. The National Minimum Wage will only be reviewed every second year:

This means that the minimum wage will only be reviewed in 202, and employers have the discretion to determine increases (if any) in 2019.

5. The National Minimum Wage will be subjected to the same exemption process as the current sectoral determinations:

Employers may, currently, apply for exemption from the sectoral determinations in terms of section 50 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. The same process will be followed for the National Minimum Wage, but with the added commitment that the turnaround time for exemption applications will be 30 days. If an employer has not heard whether an exemption has been granted within the 30-day time-frame, such an employer may deem the exemption as granted. The system used will resemble SARS’ e-filing system.

6. Employers will not be allowed to change conditions of service due to the National Minimum Wage:

According to the agreement reached at NEDLAC, no employer will be allowed to unilaterally adjust conditions of employment, such as working hours, because of the introduction of the National Minimum Wage. Doing this would constitute non-compliance, and/or an unfair labour practice. Retrenchments due to the inability to pay workers the National Minimum Wage, may also open employers to possible non-compliance, or unfair dismissals. Government has resolved to assist employers to reach payment of the National Minimum Wage, the method will depend on research done by the National Minimum Wage Commission.

7. In conclusion:

Minimum wages are not a foreign concept to the agricultural sector, as the sector has been subjected to sectoral determinations since 2003. These are largely complied with, especially in Gauteng and the Western Cape, with the exemption process being available to all employers who are unable to pay their workers in accordance with the sectoral determinations.
Agri SA encourages compliance with the National Minimum Wage, and will utilise every opportunity to influence the legislative process to enable employers to pay the National Minimum Wage, to ensure growth and prosperity in the agricultural sector.

Jahni de Villiers
Head: labour and Transformation

01
Aug

New study co-funded by INC reveals nut consumption is associated with reduced weight gain

July 2017. This recent study published in the European Journal of Nutrition investigated the association between nut intake and changes in body weight after 5 years of follow-up. Researchers also estimated the risks associated with overweight or obesity after higher nut consumption[i].

Nuts are energy-dense foods; they can provide 160-200kcal per serving (30g-a handful), so the concern that high nut consumption may lead to weight gain persists. For that reason, the present study aimed at analyzing if a frequent nut intake incorporated into a normocaloric, standard diet leads to weight gain.

373,293 participants were recruited between 1992 and 2000 from 10 European countries in the frame of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Body weight was measured at the beginning of the study and after a median follow-up of 5 years, and food consumption was assessed by country-specific validated food-frequency questionnaires. Results observed that those participants who consumed more nuts (more than one serving per week) gained less weight when compared to non-consumers. On the other hand, the frequency of nut consumption was associated with a 5% lower risk of becoming overweight or obese. Participants with a normal weight who consumed more nuts (6g/day) had a 5% lower risk of becoming overweight or obese compared with non-nut consumers. At the same time, overweight individuals at baseline also had a 5% lower risk of becoming obese.

The study concluded that a higher nut consumption was associated with less weight gain after 5 years and also a lower risk of overweight or obesity. Thus, these findings support dietary recommendations to increase nut intake and include them in our diet.

“This is the largest study ever conducted, showing that nuts are a non-fattening healthy food” said Dr. Joan Sabate, Professor of Nutrition at Loma Linda University and Senior Investigator of this research.

This study was supported by the INC International Nut and Dried Fruit Council.

 

About the International Nut & Dried Fruit Council

INC members include more than 700 nut and dried fruit sector companies from over 70 countries. INC is the leading international organization regarding nuts and dried fruit health, nutrition, statistics, food safety, international standards, and regulations.

[i] Freisling H, et al., 2017. Nut intake and 5-year changes in body weight and obesity risk in adults: results from the EPIC-PANACEA study. Eur J Nutr. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-017-1513-0

 

 

01
Aug

SIZA Guide to Law and Best Practice in Fire Safety on Farms

SIZA has complied a useful guide to the law and best practice in fire safety on farms.

 

GIDS TOT DIE WET EN BESTE PRAKTYK VIR BRANDVEILIGHEID OP PLASE IN SUID-AFRIKA

Fire-Safety-Guide-May-2017finalafrikaans

 

GUIDE TO THE LAW AND BEST PRACTICE IN FIRE SAFETY ON FARMS IN SOUTH AFRICA

Fire-Safety-Guide-May-2017finalenglish
26
Jul

Grootplaas Onderhoud – 25 Julie 2017 – Elsje Joubert

  • Elsje Joubert, waarnemende tegniese bestuurder van Subtrop, gesels oor die subtropiese vrugtebedryf en gee raad oor stinkbesies en makadamiaboerdery.

25
Jul

U.S.: FDA approves macadamia heart health claim

The macadamia industry has received a boost this week after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted a petition to allow a qualified health claim connecting the nut’s consumption to a reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).

The claim is quite specific however, with the following wording put forth by Royal Hawaiian Macadamia Nut, Inc. in its request to the regulator:

“Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 ounces per day of macadamia nuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol and not resulting in increased intake of saturated fat or calories may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. See nutrition information for fat [and calorie] content,” states the now permitted claim.

The decision comes almost two years after the petition was initially filed, putting the native Australian nut in the same league as other nuts renowned for their health benefits such as walnuts and almonds.

“This is a truly a historic day for everyone in the macadamia nut industry,” Scott Wallace of Royal Hawaiian Macadamia Nut said in a release.

“Research about the benefits macadamia nuts have for heart health has existed for decades, and we’ve worked tirelessly to secure the legal right to share this with the masses.

“Many people associate almonds, pistachios and walnuts with better health, but this momentous decision from the FDA now puts macadamia nuts in a similar category.”

In the release, the company highlighted macadamia nuts have no cholesterol and are high in monounsaturated fats – the same healthy fats found in olive oil and avocados, which are known to help reduce bad cholesterol levels and can lower risk of heart disease and stroke.

Scientists first discovered that adding macadamia nuts to the diet appeared to lower the amount of LDL cholesterol in the blood during the 1990s and 2000s.

Since then, researchers have been exploring the connection, resulting in a growing body of scientific evidence supporting that a diet including macadamia nuts can help lower LDL cholesterol levels.

One ounce of macadamia nuts (about 15 nuts) is also an excellent source of thiamin and manganese, a good source of dietary fiber and copper, and contains protein, magnesium, iron and phytosterols.

Taken from: www.freshfruitportal.com

25
Jul

SAMAC RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM 6 SEPTEMBER 2017

The Southern African Macadamia Growers’ Association (SAMAC) will hold its annual Research Symposium on 6 September 2017. The event will take place on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal for the first time – one of the rapidly expanding regions of macadamia plantings in South Africa, with the potential of becoming the country’s largest macadamia production region in the future.

The programme will include researchers that currently have projects funded by SAMAC, as well as several external presenters, which may bring a fresh outlook to some of the macadamia industry’s challenges. A wide range of topics will be addressed:

 

Macadamia Health Research

Macadamia Water Usage / Irrigation

Macadamia Genetics and Biotechnology

Remote Sensing Technologies

Macadamia Pests and Diseases

Biological Control

Bees

 

The symposium will be held in the Zulu Theatre at Sibaya Casino near the King Shaka International Airport. The event will finish on a high with a formal gala dinner in the evening, where several industry awards will be presented.

For more information or to register, visit the SAMAC Research Symposium Page

 

Issued by the Southern African Macadamia Growers’ Association (SAMAC)
24 July 2017
Contact: Barry Christie
Tel: +27 73 084 1772
barry@subtrop.co.za

12
Jul

SAMAC PRESS RELEASE

FINAL SOUTH AFRICAN MACADAMIA 2017 CROP FORECAST – 11 July 2017

 

The Southern African Macadamia Growers’ Association has conducted a final crop forecast survey for the 2017 season. The updated forecast is 42 000 tons of nut-in shell (1.5% kernel moisture content), which is 570 tons more than the forecast that was issued in May due to higher participation from handlers in the industry. The macadamia industry is still suffering from the effects of a severe drought that lead to a crop of 38 000 tons in 2016, compared to 46 000 tons that were produced in 2015. It is evident that the Limpopo Province is under more constraint and many handlers have submitted a lower forecast for this province than previously. In contrast, Mpumalanga Province has a slightly higher forecast, which could be due to the many new plantings that has come into production for the first time, since it remains the province with the most new plantings annually and also because the Lowveld of Mpumalanga is the main producing region due to having the most hectares planted to macadamias. Fifty five percent (55%) of the 2017 crop is expected to be produced in Mpumalanga (Table 1).

Mr Walter Giuricich, chairman of SAMAC, encouraged the industry to process more macadamias to kernel in order to satisfy the high demand for kernel. “Some of the country’s highest quality macadamias is being exported as inshell, whereas lower quality nuts are often processed and sorted in order to ensure that high quality products leave South Africa’s shores”, Giuricich said. Approximately 49% of the crop is expected to be processed to kernel this year, as opposed to 64% that was processed to kernel in 2016.

 

Issued by the Southern African Macadamia Growers’ Association

 

29
Jun
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