Train­ing and De­vel­op­ment

The Poultry Bulletin - - CONTENTS - By Christo­pher Ma­son

By the time you read this most South Africans will have started their an­nual fes­tive sea­son hol­i­days. It has been a chal­leng­ing year for the coun­try, with a va­ri­ety of ma­jor is­sues on the political and eco­nomic front head­lin­ing news through­out the year. The lat­est wa­ter cri­sis and drought, and pre­dicted con­se­quences, top the list of is­sues South Africans are fac­ing at present.

De­cem­ber hol­i­day plans and fes­tive sea­son fam­ily gath­er­ings are on the top of the ma­jor­ity of South Africans minds at the mo­ment as the coun­try en­ters into a pe­riod of care­free limbo. The an­nual ex­o­dus of peo­ple to coastal towns, will as a con­se­quence bring with it daily re­ports of the num­ber of traf­fic in­ci­dents and sta­tis­tics on fa­tal­i­ties, which has be­come a sad tra­di­tion. Ap­peals by au­thor­i­ties for mo­torists to abide by the rules of the road re­main largely ig­nored, and as a con­se­quence this De­cem­ber is bound to be no dif­fer­ent. I cer­tainly hope that I am proved wrong on this state­ment.

My wish is that you en­joy your fes­tive sea­son. If you are trav­el­ling, travel safely and re­mem­ber there are wa­ter short­ages due to the drought and the onus is on all of us to act as re­spon­si­ble cit­i­zens of the coun­try.

This month I am not re­port­ing on SAPA projects. I have how­ever in­cluded an ar­ti­cle on the KZNPI as well as on the fu­ture of the SE­TAS and

the cur­rent wa­ter cri­sis.

KZNPI grate­fully ac­knowl­edges spon­sor­ship

Nes­tled along­side the Bis­ley Val­ley Na­ture Re­serve on the out­skirts of Pi­eter­mar­itzburg, the Kwazulu-na­tal Poul­try In­sti­tute con­tin­ues in a small way to play a piv­otal role in skills de­vel­op­ment and up­lift­ing com­mu­ni­ties in Africa. Formed in the early 1990’s largely as a pro­ducer or­gan­i­sa­tion, the In­sti­tute has adapted over the years in ac­cor­dance with chang­ing agri­cul­tural and eco­nomic land­scapes. Now reg­is­tered as a non-profit com­pany, its core busi­ness is pro­vid­ing prac­ti­cal train­ing in poul­try pro­duc­tion to peo­ple from all walks of life.

Janet Lee, Gen­eral Man­ager – Train­ing, at the In­sti­tute, says un­like other learn­ing in­sti­tu­tions in South Africa, the In­sti­tute sur­vives with­out any govern­ment or cor­po­rate fund­ing. Fol­low­ing the

in­tro­duc­tion of the statu­tory levy, the for­mer fee-pay­ing mem­bers in the prov­ince dwin­dled and the In­sti­tute was forced to rein­vent it­self and for­mu­late a new busi­ness model. Enor­mous ef­forts have been made over the years by the ded­i­cated team of staff mem­bers who are all pas­sion­ate about chick­ens and knowl­edge trans­fer. The man­age­ment com­mit­tee and board mem­bers, made up of both pro­duc­ers and in­dus­try role play­ers, have also con­trib­uted sig­nif­i­cantly over time to de­vis­ing strate­gies to keep the In­sti­tute rel­e­vant.

The past two years have been par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult as both the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors have re­duced their train­ing bud­gets. Main­tain­ing the as­sets, which com­prise the ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices, lecture fa­cil­i­ties, hos­tels and train­ing farm, has been chal­leng­ing. A num­ber of ex­perts have in re­cent months willingly given their time and of­fered free ad­vice on var­i­ous is­sues.

It was a huge re­lief when spon­sors stepped for­ward in re­sponse to pleas for help. The KZNPI would like to con­vey sin­cere grat­i­tude to the fol­low­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions:

• Meadow Feeds, for the gen­er­ous do­na­tion of a year’s sup­ply of broiler and breeder feed;

• In­ver­ness Rear­ing, for sup­ply­ing heatre­sis­tant roof paint and for or­gan­is­ing the re­fur­bish­ment of pul­let rear­ing and layer houses;

• Big Dutch­man, for over­haul­ing the ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem in the pul­let rear­ing house;

• Afrifoam, for in­su­lat­ing the pul­let and layer houses;

• Dy­namic Fi­bre Mould­ing for egg pack­ag­ing ma­te­rial;

• Cobb SA and Ross Poul­try Breed­ers, for sup­ply­ing day-old par­ent chicks;

• Delta­mune for spon­sor­ing di­ag­nos­tics;

• Hy-line SA, for do­nat­ing day-old pul­lets;

• Pathogen & En­vi­ron­men­tal So­lu­tions for ro­dent con­trol prod­ucts;

• Keystone Hatch­ery, for ren­o­vat­ing hatch­ery equip­ment and build­ing. The In­sti­tute has two full­time fa­cil­i­ta­tors, who present short cour­ses in English and Isizulu, and makes use of a num­ber of con­sul­tant fa­cil­i­ta­tors who are spe­cial­ists in their fields. Cour­ses on of­fer in­clude broiler pro­duc­tion, hatch­ery man­age­ment, broiler breed­ers and com­mer­cial lay­ers. The­o­ret­i­cal train­ing is re­in­forced by prac­ti­cal→

work done on the at­tached farm. In­ten­sive work­shops on Busi­ness Skills and Su­per­vi­sory Skills aimed at poul­try farm­ers have proved to be very pop­u­lar.

Grate­ful thanks to the nu­mer­ous in­di­vid­u­als, govern­ment de­part­ments and or­gan­i­sa­tions that show con­fi­dence in the Kwazu­luNatal In­sti­tute by con­tin­u­ing to send del­e­gates for train­ing. The year 2016 looks to be a bright one!

Nz­i­mande to scrap SE­TAS

The 21 sec­tor education and train­ing au­thor­i­ties (SE­TAS), which re­ceive more than an an­nual R13 bil­lion in ring-fenced funds, are set to be scrapped, ac­cord­ing to a re­port on News 24. Min­is­ter of Higher Education Blade Nz­i­mande gazetted a sweep­ing pro­posal on the fu­ture of the SE­TAS this week, giv­ing them two more years to op­er­ate be­fore they stop be­ing “au­thor­i­ties” and be­come “ad­vi­sory boards” (Setabs) with very lit­tle of their cur­rent op­er­a­tional role re­main­ing.

Most im­por­tantly, the SE­TAS will lose con­trol of a mas­sive chunk of the skills levy South Africa ex­acts from all em­ploy­ers who have more than 50 work­ers. This 1% pay­roll tax is es­ti­mated to reach R16.7 bil­lion this year and keep grow­ing faster than nor­mal tax funds for higher education.

The pro­posal sees 40% of this levy money, which is flow­ing to the SE­TAS for use in their re­spec­tive sec­tors, go­ing to the Na­tional Skills Fund to be cen­trally ad­min­is­tered. The pub­lic re­lease of the pro­posal comes in the middle of a le­gal bat­tle over Nz­i­mande’s pre­vi­ous in­ter­ven­tion in the Seta sys­tem late last year.

The pro­posal de­pends on Nz­i­mande’s depart­ment of higher education and train­ing win­ning that case in the Labour Ap­peal Court. The case stems from a regulation that cuts down the amount of levy money the SE­TAS could pass straight back to the levy-pay­ing em­ploy­ers – the manda­tory grant.

It used to be 50% of the levy, but Nz­i­mande cut it down to 20%, with the rest fall­ing into the Seta bud­get for dis­cre­tionary grants. It is this dis­cre­tionary grant money that the pro­posal now wants to move out of the SE­TAS al­to­gether. How­ever, a court chal­lenge by Busi­ness Unity SA has sus­pended Nz­i­mande’s re­form, which he has ap­pealed.

New ap­proach needed to wa­ter use

The worst drought in decades in South Africa will have far­reach­ing im­pacts, but will also mo­ti­vate the govern­ment, busi­nesses and con­sumers to change the way they use wa­ter. Drought was in­evitable in one of the world’s scarcest coun­tries ac­cord­ing to Ruwayda Red­fearn, Of­fice Man­ag­ing Part­ner and the head of Risk Ad­vi­sory for Deloitte in Kwazulu-na­tal, quoted in Biz­com­mu­nity.

“Many South Africans are at last re­al­is­ing just what a pre­cious re­source this is. This drought is un­doubt­edly forc­ing a change in mind-set and we need to join to­gether to take this far fur­ther than short-term in­ter­ven­tions, no mat­ter how im­por­tant th­ese are. We need to con­sider cli­mate change, food se­cu­rity, sus­tain­abil­ity and find proac­tive so­lu­tions,” she said, adding that when it came to sce­nario plan­ning, a longert­erm 10-year plan was needed. Proac­tive so­lu­tions such as in­creased use of green build­ing prac­tices, bet­ter main­te­nance of wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture, wa­ter re­cy­cling plants, on-site wa­ter re­cy­cling mea­sures such as rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing and the re-use of grey wa­ter as well as bet­ter pol­lu­tion con­trol to free up cur­rently un­us­able wa­ter sources needed to move to the top of the agenda.

She said South Africa could no longer af­ford wa­terthirsty projects and lo­cal and pro­vin­cial govern­ment, town plan­ners, de­vel­op­ers, ar­chi­tects and the con­struc­tion in­dus­try needed to see this as an op­por­tu­nity rather than a con­straint. But, in the in­terim, all need to brace them­selves for the far-reach­ing con­se­quences of this se­vere drought as the nec­es­sary rain­fall is only ex­pected by March 2016. Al­ready, this has be­come a na­tional is­sue with five provinces - Kwazulu-na­tal, the Free State, North West, Lim­popo and Mpumalanga - of­fi­cially de­clared drought disas­ter ar­eas.

Ac­cord­ing to re­cent sta­tis­tics, the agri­cul­tural sec­tor has con­tracted by more than 17 per­cent quar­ter on quar­ter. Farm­ers are ex­pected to lose about R10-bil­lion this year with Grainsa pre­dict­ing a 29 per­cent de­crease in the bas­ket of sum­mer crops. Last year’s maize out­put of 14,3 mil­lion tonnes is ex­pected to shrink to by 31 per­cent to 9.8 mil­lion tonnes.

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