These are not perfect plans by any stretch but are better than no plans. Perhaps, the better way of viewing the documents is through the lens of “better is good”, which means having a policy document that is better than a current position is good, to an extent.
Focus and spending on the network industries and municipalities’ performance will benefit not only the agricultural sector after recent floods.
I want to make a few points about KwaZulu-Natal’s contribution to South Africa’s food sector and whether the country is at risk due to the provincial damages.
The deteriorating road infrastructure increases the transaction costs for farmers and agribusinesses, which have to shift their resources towards maintaining roads even though this is a public sector duty instead of investing time and capital in their businesses.
2022 will probably be a break from the solid two years of expansion in South Africa’s gross value added for agriculture. The sector could see a mild contraction in 2022 because of a reduction in the summer crop harvest and the base effects.
The war could push fertiliser prices even higher than the spike experienced in the past 18 months. In some cases, for example in ammonia, prices rose by 260% between December 2020 and December 2021.
The tone of Ramaphosa’s social compacting approach to rebuilding the economy should find expression within the agricultural sector as well.
The South African government should strengthen the social compact approach on a sectoral level and outline the areas of collaboration that will majorly pay off in addressing the twin challenges of rising unemployment and slow growth.