Commercial grain farmers and the South African Presidency have been talking on a range of issues and seem to be finding some common ground, according to the head of industry group Grain SA. Expropriation without compensation (EWC), like a hooded figure wielding a scythe, still looms in the background. But, says Jannie de Villiers, Grain SA's CEO, in an interview, promising seeds have been planted.
There was a first this week at the annual Nampo agricultural show in the heart of South Africa's maize belt. An official from the Presidency accepted an invitation and rocked up.
"And guess what? He got a puncture because of the potholes," Jannie de Villiers, Grain SA's CEO, told Business Maverick on the sidelines of Nampo. "And he said to me 'Jannie, now I understand why farmers are mad at us, why can't we fix that road?' For us this is an unintended consequence of Nampo."
This has not been Grain SA's only engagement with the Presidency. De Villiers said a host of issues have been raised between the two sides that look set to grow into policy initiatives.
"We have engaged with the Presidency as they are putting together a five-year plan ahead of...