In my view

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.


Hein Rehr

Hein Rehr
Mobile: 082 451 1569
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
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

Johan van Rensburg
Mobile: 087 358 8882
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

Hein Rehr
Mobile: 082 451 1569
September 25, 2018

Going in the right direction

How wonderful it is to greet you from a very wet Western Cape. Since middle August we have received very good rains in the Overberg and Southern Cape.

Parts of the Southern Cape is still under the strain of drought. We hope the latest rains will bring some relief to them. The Swartland is also looking exceptionally good this year after a above normal rainfall realised during the winter.

We started out the year with dam levels at the lowest in years and ended up with levels of more than 50 percent by August. We are truly blessed and very grateful for the rain we have received.

On GOSA Cape’s side, it has also been a great year. We had a very successful symposium in Hartenbos at the beginning of the year and an excellent workshop during June with more than 60 people attending. The programme was of a high standard and key topics aimed at our industry were discussed, especially food safety and “health and safety”.

Nationally GOSA is looking at its place in the grain value chain. We are contemplating about where we see ourselves in the future and are considering new partners in order to stay relevant. Most of all we are looking to secure GOSA’s future for its members.

In these times one has to adjust to keep up-to-date and be involved. I believe we are going in the right direction. Unfortunately, as time goes by, we have to say goodbye to people and one such person is Awie Kriel from Kaap Agri. He has been a big part of GOSA Cape’s successes in the past, and surely will be missed in the future. We want to thank Awie for all he has done for us and wish him all the best for the future.

In the Cape we are on the eve of harvesting and looking forward to end the year on a high note. To all the others involved: good luck and may you all be blessed.


George du Plessis

Chairman: GOSA Cape

George du Plessis
Mobile: 082 924 8755
April 17, 2018

GOSA’s members handled huge crop with ease

What a pleasure it was to have all the pillars in the grain industry – and even international guests – together at the Grain Handling Organisation of Southern Africa’s 35th symposium on 22 and 23 March of this year.

A special word of thanks to our sponsors who contributed towards our organisation. Thank you to our regular sponsors as well as organisations who sponsored for the first time. We are grateful and privileged to receive contributions from you.

While we had the worst drought in South Africa and our neighbouring countries in over a hundred years in 2016, we were blessed during the 2017 crop year when the South African farmers produced one of the biggest maize crops in history – nearly 17 million tons. 2,628 million hectares were planted, with an average record yield of over 6 tons per hectare. The Free State, Mpumalanga and the North West Province produced over 80% of the total crop.

We would like to thank our members for the way they handled the huge crop. Silos were utilised to full capacity and we know silo owners had to move stocks around to accommodate everyone. Together with other commodities harvested during 2017, our members handled over 20 million tons of grain. Deep sea exports were just over 2 million tons. White maize was exported to Kenya and yellow maize to Japan, who prefers South African maize because of its hardness and GMO-free status, as well as to Korea and Taiwan.

According to the latest crop estimate 12,2 million tons of maize will be harvested during this coming season. With carry-over stocks of approximately 3,5 million tons of maize and consumption of 10,5 million tons per annum, we will be left with quite a few million tons of maize for exports. Apart from the regular exports of maize to our neighbouring countries Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Swaziland, Mozambique and Namibia, South Korea is in the market for maize at the moment. Should our prices be competitive with the USA, this could be a potential market. Favourable weather outlook and the volatility of the rand will remain focus areas, impacting the market.

Crop estimates for other commodities are as follows:

  • Sunflower seeds: 732 000 metric tons down 16%
  • Soybeans: 1,3 million tons up 4,5%
  • Groundnuts: 89 000 metric tons down 3,5%
  • Sorghum: 78 000 metric tons down 48%

The fact that 48% less sorghum has been planted, means that sorghum will have to be imported to meet the country’s demand. In the production area of Limpopo, which didn’t have enough rain during the sorghum planting season, producers planted cotton.

Through the good and the bad times, we in agriculture must ensure that the population of South Africa are sure of food security and food safety. In general, I am very proud of the wonderful co-operation that exists between the different organisations in agriculture.

We are particularly proud of our South African producers who are rated among the best in the world – they are absolute experts in farming.

At present we have approximately 33 000 primary producers, who do not receive any subsidies from Government as is the case in America and the rest of the world. At least 3 500 South African producers are currently farming in 45 of the 55 countries in Africa. Australia also would love to have our farmers – as was indicated just last week. We are facing a challenge in the farming industry as the average farmer’s age is over 60 and we need the younger generation to participate in supplying food to our nation. We also need to make sure that land expropriation without compensation does not go through, as we need our producers to ensure food security.

World production of maize is good, although less than last season due to weather conditions in the United States of America and South America. China is the second largest producer of maize after the United States of America. World domestic demand was up by 6 million tons, split between the USA, Brazil, the EU, China, India and South Africa. World ending stocks are nearly 200 million tons. Ending stocks for soybeans are 94 million tons.

Our wheat production is about 1,5 million tons, while our demand for wheat is roughly 3,2 million tons. During this season wheat was imported from countries like the United States of America, Germany, Argentina and especially the Black Sea countries. World wheat stocks are on 269 million tons, which shows clearly there is no shortage of wheat in the world.

There is a Chinese verb which states: ‘May you live in interesting times’. Well, we surely are.

Just take our beloved country, South Africa, and the turmoil we went through during the past few years: Corruption, state capture, the weakening of the rand, a credit downgrade, droughts, a president nobody respected and so many more negative experiences we faced. And then just as we thought it cannot get worse, such wonderful changes occurred: A new president, new cabinet, the rand strengthening and we had good rains in certain areas last year – we are full of hope for the future.

Sadly we had the horrible outbreak of listeriosis in our country. This is a challenge for the companies involved. Fortunately the prompt reaction of Government brought the outbreak under control.

Our prayers are still with the people in the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape and all the different parts of our country where rain is so desperately needed.

Unfortunately Moody’s warned that Cape Town’s water crisis will have a direct impact on the city’s budget and economy in 2018 and beyond. It stated that the water crisis will cause the city’s borrowing to rise sharply and the provincial economy to shrink. The estimated loss in income for the agricultural sector in the Western Cape due to the drought, is around
R6 billion.

We in agriculture are obliged to promote food safety and security. Although there are so many negative influences from outside, we must still do our best and work together positively to achieve success in this country we love so much.

Thank you to all our strong leaders in agriculture and to everyone who contributes so loyally.

Annatjie Loio

Mobile: 082 458 7264

Annatjie Loio
Mobile: 082 458 7264
January 12, 2018

Exciting 2018 shows promise

2017 is a thing of the past and will always be remembered as the year with the biggest grain crop to date in South Africa. Various records were broken and the industry did an excellent job in receiving the crop. Additional capacity was created and the silos are full. What an outstanding achievement by all stakeholders in the grain value chain and by the producers.

In these times we still think of the Western Cape with the lingering drought and water shortages. At the same time, for the first time in 82 years we lost an entire day’s test cricket due to rain in Cape Town – and that outside the traditional rainy season. That just goes to show that you should never lose hope. (Luckily we won the cricket test properly!)

2018 promises to be an exciting year. Firstly, the record crop that was received must be stored, outloaded, transported and processed. Agricultural conditions look relatively positive and above-average rain is predicted for late January and February by the weather gurus. What will happen to carry-over stock? What will grain prices do … and exports? These are the questions on everyone’s lips.

GOSA is also excited about 2018. Our industry meetings started early in January and we are very excited to welcome Johan van Rensburg of OVK as chairperson of GOSA’s industry committee. GOSA is hosting a session in February where stakeholders in the grain value chain have been invited to join in setting the course for GOSA for the next five years. We as board members are very excited about the session and about obtaining inputs to make GOSA even more efficient.

And then our 35th symposium also takes place in Mossel Bay in March. Registrations are progressing well and we look forward to welcoming everyone there again. GOSA once again managed to arrange outstanding speakers for the event.

On behalf of GOSA, all the best for 2018. May the year exceed your greatest expectations.

Marco Pretorius
Board Member and Treasurer: GOSA

Marco Pretorius
Mobile: 082 924 6222
November 13, 2017

GOSA – 34 years of handling grain

Since GOSA was founded 34 years ago various persons in the grain industry have made exceptional contributions towards making this organisation relevant and important.

Initially GOSA’s activities were mainly driven by persons and institutions directly involved with grain storage. For this reason the focus was also more on gathering and exchanging information, knowledge and expertise between these institutions.

For the past five years GOSA’s Board has made deliberate efforts to create forums where all stakeholders in grain handling, including transport contractors, Transnet, storage facilities, ports, traders, financiers, millers, feed processors, government departments and related industries, are given an opportunity to liaise and to exchange information and expertise to the benefit of the industry. GOSA’s annual Symposium and workshop are an indication of the great success achieved in this regard.

However, the Board aims to add even more value for the stakeholders in the grain handling chain through GOSA’s activities. For this reason the Board is planning a gathering in February 2018 to discuss the matter.

The Board would like to take inputs by you as stakeholders in the grain handling chain into account during the discussions and would therefore like to invite you to provide us with your needs and proposals. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for your support and involvement in GOSA’s activities over the past year. The Board wishes you a blessed Festive Season.

Kind regards

Awie Kriel
Vice President

Awie Kriel
Mobile: 083 286 2506
August 10, 2017

In my view

New website as active as the current record season

Welcome to GOSA’s website, which is now live. Thank you very much to Johan Smit from Infoworks and Marco Pretorius and Karin Greeff of the GOSA board for the hard work in getting our brand-new website (feel free to visit off the ground.

After we experienced a severe drought last year, South Africa is blessed with the biggest maize crop in history this year. On the basis of the most recent crop estimate, 16 431 million tons of maize are expected during the 2017 harvest year. The estimated area under maize is 2 629 million hectares, while the expected yield is 6,24 tons per hectare. This is the highest yield ever. The Free State, Mpumalanga and North West are expected to produce 83% of this massive crop.

It is estimated that approximately 13 million tons of maize are already in the handling process, and this includes:

  • Maize in the silos
  • Maize delivered directly
  • Exports to neighbouring areas; and
  • Deep-sea exports

As this stage we would like to thank all our members for their hard work and perseverance during the harvest period. Silos were full and plans had to be made to deal with the intake of maize.

In addition to the large maize crop, our members had to handle the following grains during the season:

Sunflower seed

870 000 metric tons


1,3 million metric tons


90 000 metric tons

Grain sorghum

151 000 metric tons


265 000 metric tons


1,6 million metric tons


109 000 metric tons

Our members will handle more than 20 million tons of grain in total, plus the shortage of oilcake, which is being imported from South America.

Exports of maize are progressing without problems, but the figures for maize that has been exported are lower than initially expected. A few consignments of yellow maize were exported to Japan, as they prefer South African maize for its hardness and moisture content and GMO-free status. White maize was exported to Kenya. The prices of South African maize exported by sea compete with those of maize from America and South America.

The drought in the Western Cape continues, but the weather forecast is predicting a possibility of further rain during the month. Prospects for the summer rainfall areas are favourable from the middle of October 2017.

The GOSA board members wish you all a prosperous season and we would like all our members to use the new website actively. GOSA members who want to submit an article or photos to be posted on the website are welcome to contact Karin Greeff at


Annatjie Loio

Annatjie Loio
Mobile: 082 458 7264