Why not prop up our own poul­try in­dus­try?

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

DAVID Wolpert (Busi­ness Re­port, Jan­uary 12) once again em­ploys tired rhetoric to at­tack the lo­cal poul­try in­dus­try, no doubt to pro­tect his As­so­ci­a­tion of Meat Im­porters and Ex­porters’ (AMIE) prof­i­teer­ing at the ex­pense of jobs in the sec­tor.

The fact is that lo­cal poul­try pro­duc­ers are in­ter­na­tion­ally com­pet­i­tive on a whole chicken ba­sis and would pre­fer noth­ing more than to ex­port breast meat to Eu­rope free of duty.

Will Wolpert and his as­so­ci­a­tion there­fore put their money where their mouth is and pro­vide some fund­ing and per­son­nel out of the hun­dreds of mil­lions they make ev­ery year so that, to­gether, we can as­sist Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture, Forestry and Fish­eries es­tab­lish the struc­tures and sys­tems to en­able ex­port to take place?

This ac­tion would demon­strate a com­mit­ment beyond the clichéd sound bites passed off as fact and put real sub­stance into the “ex­porters’ “part of AMIE’s name. The real truth is that Wolpert has never ap­proached us to as­sist in this mat­ter. What he has done though is ask for help in man­ag­ing rogue im­porters, who un­der-de­clare im­ported chicken to avoid tar­iffs to Sars, to pro­tect his prof­its.

Far from an in­nocu­ous 14 per­cent, chicken im­ports cost the South A frican econ­omy an as­tro­nom­i­cal R7 bil­lion per year.

Jobs are there­fore be­ing cre­ated abroad, while we lose thou­sands at home, clos­ing op­er­a­tions, and miss­ing the aim of be­ing a food-se­cure na­tion.

Sim­ply put, un­like oil for ex­am­ple, we do not have to im­port chicken; we can be self-suf­fi­cient and eas­ily cre­ate an­other 20 000 jobs. ARTHINUS STANDER CEO COUN­TRY BIRD HOLD­INGS CHAIR­MAN – BROILER OR­GAN­I­SA­TION, SOUTH AFRICAN POUL­TRY AS­SO­CI­A­TION

Who ac­tu­ally pock­ets the elec­tric­ity pay­ments?

As a Bri­tish cit­i­zen liv­ing and work­ing in South Africa for the past 9 years or so, I fail to un­der­stand the prob­lem as re­gards four prov­inces (Free State, North West, Mpumalanga and North­ern Cape) ow­ing Eskom the grand sum of R10.2 bil­lion, which is rather a lot of money.

My be­lief is that the vast ma­jor­ity of con­sumers of elec­tri­cal power in those mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties re­li­giously pay their bills each month and that this money goes into the cof­fers of the re­spec­tive mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

If the for­mer do not pay then I as­sume, in the in­ter­est of fair­ness and com­mu­nal good, that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity would cut off their power sup­ply.

If these mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties are now un­able to pay the Eskom bill, where ex­actly is this nudg­ing on R10.2bn? GE­OFF CON­NOR VIA E-MAIL

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