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All roads lead to Nampo and Nation in Conversation 2019

  • 14 May 2019
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  •  press-release

The first session was concluded on Monday night at the media launch, when In Transformation Initiatives director, Roelf Meyer hosted a discussion entitled Agriculture – A Global Business, Where Does South Africa Stand.

The anchor of Tuesday morning’s discussion Nick Binedell facilitated the session which focused on Public Private Partnerships towards Sustainable Economic Growth. The panel was comprised of John Purchase, Agbiz CEO; Rudi Dicks, Outcomes Facilitator for Economy and Inclusive Growth, DPME; Langa Simela, Business Development Manager at ABSA and Jannie de Villiers, CEO of Grain SA.

Asked about the government’s Public Private Growth Initiative (PPGI) initiative, Rudi said that the PPGI was unique in that it was a direct initiative from the president. “It has not been relegated to a ministry or an official, which is indicative of its importance.”

Nick asked why this initiative should be regarded differently to many other failed government initiatives of the past. “It is not a once-off event, it is a long-term partnership with strategies and accountability, the main thing that was missing from past initiatives was accountability,” said Rudi.

Jannie said that “this time there is a realisation from all parties [government, the private sector and agriculture] that they need each other. It’s as if there was a storm and the bridges were washed away and it’s like we are now building real bridges from both sides, and we realise that we can’t keep focusing on our own agendas or the bridge will not meet in the middle and it all collapses again.”

John added that “there is a realisation that the trajectory over the last nine years has been downwards, and we’ve all realised that if we can’t work together, we will not change that trajectory and we can’t do it alone. In the past, business was always seen as the enemy and vice versa, now there is a very real change in attitude from both sides.”

Langa made the point that “agriculture needs to lead agricultural development” emphasising that agricultural bodies and institutions had to advise and guide government and the private sector.

Nick also stressed the importance that all initiatives going forward had to be inclusive.

When asked how the panel would like to see the impact of the current initiatives play out in ten years’ time, Rudi said that an increase in agriculture’s contribution from the current 2,5% to 10% of the national GDP would be considered a success.
The discussion set the tone for the rest of the week’s sessions which is set to take a serious and in-depth reflection on the state of agriculture in South African, especially in light of the recent general election and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s anticipated announcement of what some analysts expect to be a reduced cabinet, including a new agricultural administration.

To view the entire discussion and to stay abreast of the rest of the scheduled conversations which will be livestreamed from Nampo 2019, visit the Nation in Conversation website at 

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