In my view

September 2, 2020

Be prepared for the new way of doing things

It is encouraging that we have effectively been on Level 2 of lockdown since 18 August this year. The country has been suffering under the impact of COVID-19 for more than five months. Many decisions were made and proclaimed by the government and we can argue for hours about whether they were the right or the wrong decisions. The fact is that this pandemic was not familiar to us and nobody could really predict what its impact would be.

As far as health is concerned, many people have been directly affected – or indirectly, through loved ones who contracted COVID-19. Our hearts go out to everyone who lost loved ones during this time.

So, how was the grain industry affected? We are privileged and blessed that we are currently harvesting the second biggest grain harvest in the history of South Africa. This crop was planted before COVID-19 appeared on our doorsteps. Good rainfall at the right time and favourable agricultural conditions contributed to the current harvest. Prices are also currently still higher than one would expect with such a good harvest and we are glad that producers can benefit from this. Agriculture is contributing to the country’s economy to a great extent at present.

Except in isolated cases – and grain storage and milling facilities that had to close down for brief periods – the industry was relatively free from a material impact by COVID-19. Consumption did drop due to lower levels of consumer spending, and this impact will still be felt for the next year or two.

However, it is an indisputable fact that the world will never be exactly the same as before COVID-19. There is a new way of doing things, and the pandemic will lead to even more new trends, working methods and changes.

To us in the grain industry it remains important to be properly prepared for the new trends and working methods. How will our industry change? How do we prepare ourselves?

Time will tell, but we must be ready.

Marco Pretorius
Board Member and Treasurer: GOSA

Cell phone: 082 924 6222
Email: marco.pretorius@afgri.co.za

Marco Pretorius
TREASURER
Mobile: 082 924 6222
Email: marco.pretorius@afgri.co.za
July 29, 2020

You are in the right industry

Wow, we are experiencing interesting, exciting times! What is your five-year plan? What do your resolutions for the new year look like? What does this year’s budget look like? The new normal these days is Zoom and Teams …

I do not think one of the answers I would have written down next to each of the above questions in January 2020 still applies today. There is also a saying that one should never waste a good crisis.

So far the grain industry as a whole has experienced fewer of the economic restrictions that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused for the greater economy.

Results of a survey by World-grain.com in May 2020 revealed that the grain industry experienced both positive and negative repercussions during the period of the pandemic. The biggest negative effect was the reduction in the products and the stability of the workforce in this highly specialised field.

According to the research, the biggest positive experience was a growth in small, unprocessed packaging for food-aid schemes. The manufacturing of packaging material by smaller suppliers with few employees, as well as smaller distributors who could operate locally, had the most positive effect on that side. The retail industry therefore to a great extent compensated for the contraction at wholesale level.

Stay safe and wash your hands. You are in the right industry!

Source: Word-grain.com

Johan van Rensburg
Vice President

Cell phone: 087 358 8882
Email: johan.vanrensburg@vkb.co.za

Johan van Rensburg
VICE PRESIDENT
Mobile: 087 358 8882
Email: johan.vanrensburg@vkb.co.za
June 29, 2020

Moving the nation forward with CCC

Many years ago, my daughters and I were driving from Cape Town to Mossel Bay. We just moved from Gauteng, where GP appeared on the registration plates of most vehicles. As this is not the case in the Western Cape, it quickly became a regular road trip tradition among the two, as they would try to match each registration with the town to which it belongs. The longer we drove, the better they would get.

As we drove into the beautiful small town of Riversdale, home of the sleeping beauty, my daughters noticed the CCC registration plates, and immediately matched it to its rightful owner. I was impressed with them, but not so much with the small, quiet town that I later suggested we should rather refer to as “REVERSE-dale”. A town that upon first impression seemed completely abandoned and left behind at the time.

About a week ago, I was driving to Cape Town for the first time in a long time. As I drove through Riversdale, my mind wandered back to that particular conversation with my daughters, and I got to thinking. What does the CCC registration stand for in the greater South Africa today? Covid, Crime, Corruption? Or maybe: Crisis, Carnage, Chaos? All of these, words referring to a reverse and not a forward action. Words that most probably makes us as a nation feel just as abandoned and left behind as I thought “Reverse-dale” was.

This is no longer the case. Over the years, as I got to spend more time there, I’ve gotten to know this small town as a hidden gem, with kind-hearted people and a lot of potential.

Given some time, we too might realise that with Cooperation, Contribution and Confidence in Christ, CCC can just as well represent Change, Character and Courage. And that together, we can change the fate of our nation and move it forward!

Tom Terblanche
BOARD MEMBER
Mobile: 082 891 1656
Email: tom@graincarriers.co.za

Tom Terblanche

Mobile: 082 891 1656
Email: tom@graincarriers.co.za
June 2, 2020

Uncertain times often also offer opportunities

Today I would really have liked to look back on the GOSA Symposium that was to have taken place in March 2020, but Covid-19 and the panic around it brought the country and many industries to a standstill. We as South Africans never thought a day would come when we had to greet each other through masks and would not be allowed to shake hands, braai together and talk about sport, the weather and politics – and not be allowed to visit our parents, children and other loved ones.

Over the past 20 years we have already experienced so much that – according to the experts– could have meant the end of the world: Y2K, anthrax and viruses like SARS, E. coli, bird flu, Ebola, and now Covid-19 are only a few examples. One thing is certain: uncertain times often also offer opportunities.

As an organisation that serves agriculture, GOSA, like most industries in the sector, is grateful that we could continue placing food on the tables of millions of people in challenging times. During the lockdown the harvest commenced, producing one of the biggest maize crops ever. Thank you to every role player who went out of their way to make this possible under very difficult conditions.

Every role player had to think differently and make adjustments to comply with legislation in terms of Covid-19. New opportunities and new schools of thought can and will change the grain industry permanently. Things we took for granted in the past should bring new challenges in the future.

All the best and peace to all during this period.

Lukas Swarts
BOARD MEMBER

Mobile: 082 444 3227
Email: lukas@ensignship.com

Lukas Swarts

Mobile: 082 444 3227
Email: lukas@ensignship.com
July 10, 2019

We have a long way to go…

It is a special privilege for me to communicate in this manner with the members, interested parties and all the friends of GOSA.

GOSA’s new board was elected recently. It is an even greater privilege to talk to you as your newly elected president. Filling the shoes of our retiring president, Annatjie Loio, will not be an easy task, but you can rest assured that the board and I will give only our best.

Requests were received from the grain industry to investigate the possibility of GOSA and Agbiz Grain merging and forming one body. Prof Johan Willemse was appointed to investigate the possibility. Talks were held with agribusinesses, role-players in the industry, members of GOSA and Agbiz Grain. After discussions had been completed, the two boards met and the possibility was discussed and explored further.

During the discussions the following was agreed upon:

  • The mandates of the two organisations differ significantly and it will be very difficult to form one organisation at this stage.
  • All parties agreed that better co-operation and co-ordination are required in the future to optimise scarce manpower and costs.
  • Joint workshops et cetera will be held to eliminate duplication.
  • The chairperson of Agbiz Grain and I will meet as soon as possible to get this going and implement it.

The lingering drought of the past three years and uncertainty about expropriation without compensation place enormous pressure on all institutions within the value chain of agriculture. Our members have to make difficult decisions every day about where and how to save money.

I am of the opinion that agriculture in South Africa must make its own decisions about the future and should not wait for politicians to do this on their behalf. The government of the day apparently is not particularly interested in the farmer out on the farm. There are 57,5 million people who have to eat, therefore food security remains the buzzword. The maize crop currently being harvested, together with the carryover stock from the previous season, will be sufficient to feed the country.

With everything taken into account it is important for GOSA to also play its role in the value chain. The organisation’s main aim is to create an environment within which the handling, storage, marketing, financing, distribution, transport and processing industries in the grain industry can play their role effectively. GOSA is part of the agricultural family and co-operation in any area can only be to the benefit of the family.

In conclusion I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude towards everybody who supports GOSA so loyally. We have a long way to go, but I believe that the GOSA board and I will make it the perfect organisation of choice for you.

Finally, I want to thank our Heavenly Father who makes it possible for us to serve an organisation like GOSA.

Greetings

Hein Rehr
PRESIDENT

Hein Rehr
PRESIDENT
Mobile: 082 451 1569
Email: hein@natfum.co.za
March 14, 2019

Its time: GOSA 2019 is here

One can hardly believe that a full year has passed since the previous GOSA Symposium. Brace yourself this year for the ice-cold water of the Atlantic and the warm hospitality of the Western Cape. Club Mykonos, here we come!

Industry professionals and associates will again meet for an exciting line-up of speakers whom will address delegates on the latest weather impact on crop production as well as water management, socio economic and political matters. The latest trends and technology outlook will also be addressed. Top speakers will be there, such as Mosiuoa Lekota, Prof Dirk Coetzee, Japie Grobler and Dr Roelof Botha – only to mention a few.

As you know the GOSA event is more than just a symposium. It’s a family homecoming. We will be sharing our experiences of the past year and catch up with our GOSA members on all aspects of business and life. New business relations and friendships are a natural outcome of a GOSA event. We will once again have the chance to work together and then be socialising with our feet in the sand while Wikus van der Merwe and Pietman provide the entertainment.

May all of you travel well and arrive safely at GOSA 2019.

Looking forward to see you there!

Ferdinand Meyer

Board Member

Ferdinand Meyer

Mobile: 083 293 0336
Email: ferdi@roninsolutions.co.za
January 29, 2019

Two GOSA meetings and workshop planned

And so, another year has come to an end and a new one has started. GOSA’s technical committee wishes one and all a prosperous 2019.

Looking back on 2018, one can describe it as a full and an adventurous year. We had our first meeting in February 2018, which was followed by a second meeting in Klerksdorp and finally our workshop in October 2018. Attendees from all over South Africa made the effort to attend this workshop that was held at NAMPO Park near Bothaville.

At the workshop the focus was placed on three different parts of grain handling and storage. Firstly, the maintenance side of equipment and bins; secondly the logistical side and what role grain storage facilities play in the supply chain. Thirdly we focused on people, e.g. how to plan as far as finances are concerned.

We plan to have at least two formal meetings and one workshop during 2019.

All the best!

Johan van Rensburg
GOSA INDUSTRY SERVICES AND TRAINING

Johan van Rensburg
VICE PRESIDENT
Mobile: 087 358 8882
Email: johan.vanrensburg@vkb.co.za
November 20, 2018

GOSA brainstorm to commence at West Coast in 2019

We as GOSA is starting our 36th year of existence with big expectations which will hopefully become reality. None of these expectations in the grain industry can be achieved unless we will be blessed with good rain from our Heavenly Father soon.

Some parts of the Western Cape received good rains and therefore there will be an average crop in those areas. Big was the shock when producers realised what impact the wind had on their crops, especially in the Swartland. The damage caused by the wind was up to 40% which has had an impact on the tonnage per hectare.

The dam levels in the Western Cape are at about 70% at the moment. Some places in the Karoo received no rain at all and therefore Agri Western Cape applied for this area to be declared as a disaster area.

In the northern areas of our country, producers started to do some planting, but the rain was not enough, so the planting was put to a hold. Some more rain is needed urgently.

I am not going to give any comment regarding land expropriation without compensation, but it remains the topic of the day.

News from the GOSA Boardroom is that we are still busy positioning ourselves in the grain value chain to ensure a future for the organisation. GOSA’s main focus still remains to create forums for all interested parties in this industry to share their expertise. We are going to Club Mykonos in 2019 for a brainstorming to see how we will achieve our goals. Please book 19 and 20 March 2019 for this event if you haven’t done so yet.

Top speakers will be there, such as Mosiuoa Lekota, Prof Dirk Kotzé, Japie Grobler and Dr Roelof Botha – only to mention a few. Wicus van der Merwe and Pietman the Scot (Geldenhuys) will provide entertainment.

We wish you all a prosperous Festive Season and thank each one for their involvement with GOSA.

See you at the West Coast!

Hein Rehr
BOARD MEMBER

Hein Rehr
PRESIDENT
Mobile: 082 451 1569
Email: hein@natfum.co.za