Levy in Sorghum Industry: briefing; Environmental Ethics: briefing

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Meeting report


20 February 2002.

Please note: These minutes were prepared by the Committee Clerk

Chairperson: Rev P Moatshe
Eastern Cape
Ms B N Dlulane
Mr R Z Nogumla

Free State
Rev M Chabaku

Mr V V Z Windvoël

Northern Cape
Mr M A Sulliman

Northern Province
Mr R M Nyakane

Rev P Moatshe

Western Cape
Ms N D Mtwanambi (Alt.)

Mrs E C Gouws
Mr N M Raju
Dr E A Conroy

Also in attendance were:
Ms L Moolman of the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC)
Ms L Seeliger of the University of Stellenbosch

The Chairperson welcomed members and guests present, and Ms L Moolman of the NAMC then proceeded to brief the Committee on the proposed levy in the Sorghum industry.

Briefing on the proposed levy in the Sorghum industry:
Ms Moolman pointed out that the Sorghum Forum had requested a continuation of the levy on Sorghum and its increase to R5/tonne. All interested parties had been consulted and their views had been taken into consideration.

The levy was of great importance to the Sorghum industry as proceeds from it would be used for research, information, market access and administration.

There was a need for the speedy finalisation of the process of approving the levy as it would have to come into operation by 1 March 2002.

In response to a question, Ms Moolman pointed out that an increase in the levy had not been sought before because the process of consultation on this was tedious and it was always the aim to keep the levy as low as possible. Also, the increase had not been necessary before because the amount spent on administration had been made progressively lower.

She also pointed out that the objection of Grain Line had been noted and that part of the problem was that Grain Line representatives had not attended Sorghum Forum meetings. This position had now been rectified. In addition, Grain Line members did benefit from the research and information gained with the assistance of proceeds from the levy. Also, in line with Grain Line's objections, funds dedicated to administration had been reduced significantly.

It was one of the NAMC's priorities to conscientise role-players about the needs of emerging farmers, especially with respect to training for production and marketing. In addition to this, NAFU representatives participated in the Sorghum Forum. The NAMC's annual report would indicate the progress made with transformation and other matters related to previously disadvantaged individuals.

The collection rate for the levy was 98% at present. Collection was being strictly enforced and those not paying would be prosecuted.

Adoption of Report:
The Committee adopted a report agreeing to the recommendations of the NAMC with respect the statutory levy in the sorghum industry.

Briefing by the Unit for Environmental Ethic at Stellenbosch University:
Ms Seeliger stated that the unit was undertaking a survey on environmental decision-making in the Western Cape due to problems around the implementation of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA). She said the aim was partly to identify the level of confidence in decision-making.

She then posed the question as to what the dilemmas and frustrations were with respect to environmental decision-making, and asked what tricks and grey areas had been encountered.

The Committee felt that they could not be quizzed in this manner without prior notification. They also did not have party mandates to answer such questions. Also, the presenter had not provided evidence of dissatisfaction with the implementation of NEMA. Furthermore, the Committee felt that they represented the whole country and should not be limited to considerations of the Western Cape.

The Ethics Unit was advised to focus their attention on the Western Cape legislature. Alternately, questions could be made available to Committee members who could then answer them in their personal capacity and seek party mandates if they considered it necessary. Documentation on dissatisfaction with the implementation of NEMA was also requested.

 The Chairperson thanked members and guests for their attendance and adjourned the meeting.


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