NAMC Application for Statutory measures in Wine Industry: deliberations

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ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

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The aim of this report is to summarise the main events at the meeting and identify the key role players.  This report is not a verbatim transcript of proceedings. 

LAND AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS SELECT COMMITTEE
13 November 2001
NAMC APPLICATION FOR STATUTORY MEASURES IN WINE INDUSTRY: DELIBERATIONS

Chairperson:
Rev P. Moatshe

Documents handed out:
Draft Submission to the Minister: the Implementation of the Continuation of Statutory Measures in the Wine Industry (National Agricultural Marketing Council)

SUMMARY
Mr I. Bezuidenhout presented the National Agricultural Marketing Council's (NAMC) application for statutory measures in the wine industry to the Committee. Following a short period of questions they waited for the arrival of enough members for a quorum. When sufficient members had arrived to constitute a quorum, the Committee approved the application for the levy.  

MINUTES
The Chairperson welcomed the members of the Committee and mentioned his concern about a sufficient number of members being present for a quorum.  He welcomed Mr Bezuidenhout of the NAMC to speak to the members on the wine levy application.

NAMC Application for Statutory Measures in the Wine Industry
Mr Bezuidenhout stated that the Wine Industry Forum applied for statutory measures in July 2001, in accordance with the Marketing Act.  The NAMC believed that the requests were indeed consistent with the statutes of the Marketing Act, as the objectives worked towards increasing market access for all market participants, promoting the efficiency of the marketing of agricultural products, optimising export earnings from agricultural products, and enhancing the viability of the agricultural sector.  He added that the NAMC believed that the approval conditions set by the Minister had also been met.  The levy would be applied to grapes for wine, grape juice in concentrate for wine production, packaged drinking wine and wine spirits. On each of these would be a levy for research and development, information and wine export generic promotion.  Mr Bezuidenhout stated that it was necessary to promote each of these areas in order to create a more viable industry.  80% of the fund would have to be used for improvements in the business, a maximum of 10% could be used for administration, and a minimum of 10% would have to go towards transformation.  Other conditions of the NAMC included that all businesses in the wine industry would have to provide the NAMC with updates and information on the process every year. 

Discussion
The Chairperson welcomed the members to ask questions or make comments.

Mr A. Van Niekerk (NNP) stated that these levy applications were brought before the Committee so that they could ensure that levies were not used to keep incomers out of the industry.  He said that he was very happy that this proposal would most certainly not do that.  He then asked whether the levies would be used primarily in particular areas or if there was a way to be certain that levies from one area would not be used to subsidise the industry in another.  He also commented that, though they were not in a position to make an amendment, he thought it important that the Committee add a suggestion that surplus funds from this levy only be used within the wine industry specifically. 

Mr Bezuidenhout replied that the funds collected would only be used in the province where they were collected. 

Rev M. Chabaku (ANC) stated that she was fully in favor of the application, but she was concerned with how the industry treated seasonal workers and whether wages were sufficient.  The issue of how work was conducted in the wine industry was of interest to her.

Mr Van Niekerk replied that, though it was an important issue, it was not applicable to this discussion.

After waiting for an additional member to arrive so that the Committee quorum could be met, the Chairperson read the motion of approval on the NAMC levy application with the suggestion that surplus funds be used only within the industry and the members approved.  The meeting was adjourned.



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