The salmonella issue has been concluded and the South African market is now open for 65 000 tonnes of US poultry imports, Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry (dti), told media on Thursday.
Briefing media about progress regarding the US African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), Davies said the US has signed all documents and he is now awaiting formal indication that the agreement has been concluded.
He commended the people involved in the negotiations, saying they had "cracked" the Agoa deal.
"The actual arrival of poultry products into the market has been open since 11:30 this morning," he said. "In relation to poultry, two issues were under consideration, namely highly pathogenic avian influenza and salmonella."
Negotiations between South Africa and the US about Agoa were concluded on Wednesday, said Davies. "We are expecting that South Africa will participate in Agoa," he said.
"With regard to pork, South Africa has agreed to permit the unrestricted importation of the shoulder cuts after the US agreed to apply mitigation measures," said Davies.
"On beef, South Africa had already agreed to import beef from the US," he said.
Davies said SA agreed to the assurances given by the US.
This should ensure that US President Barack Obama doesn't pull the plug on South Africa's participation in the special trade agreement. He is expected to make an announcement this week.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated as the briefing continues...