Keep the value chain functional in times like these
Greetings to all the GOSA members from a cold and wet Overberg. We are already in the middle of 2021. Winter has definitely arrived around here – as well as in the rest of the country.
We have been blessed with good rains at the right time – the dams are overflowing and in the Rûens the canola is in full bloom. However, the year has its own challenges with some places receiving more than 300 mm in one day in the middle of the planting season. Producers could not get into the fields to finish planting. Many fields – especially in the Riviersonderend region – suffered badly from soil erosion due to flooding and had to be repaired before planting could continue. This caused many of our producers to plant well into June.
Especially in the Southern Cape the grain crops are looking particularly good with record harvests likely at this stage. Plantings in the Heidelberg/Riversdale area look very promising. The Swartland received some good rainfall and a fine harvest is expected.
When it comes to grain handling, we have a big challenge ahead of us in the Overberg and Southern Cape. Malting barley in particular is a concern. Because AB InBev’s out loading has been severely hampered since the start of last year’s lockdown, there are still more than 200 000 tons of malting barley in our silos that need to be outloaded by the end of September.
Covid-19 also has a regular impact on rail transport in particular, where placement of locomotives is sometimes delayed by up to a week. Expansion and new additions are a big challenge, while the availability and high price of steel are raising concerns – and the product takes for ever to be delivered. Even the price and availability of silo bags and bunkers have increased considerably over the past eight months.
Then there is the human impact of Covid-19 – especially on our personnel. People were already tired, worried and negative about the future and then the recent riots also hit us. It is during times like these that South Africans show what they are made of. In circumstances such as these, we need to focus on doing the right things at the right time.
Here GOSA has a part to play, especially to help where the need is great, by providing channels through which good communication can flow between parties in order to ensure that the value chain remains preserved and functional. Good luck to each of you with your respective challenges. May 2021 still be an exceptional year for everyone.
Greetings from a chilling Cape!
George du Plessis
President: GOSA Cape
Cell: 082 924 8755