NDZ must repeal irrational regulations stopping auctions - Noko Masipa

DA MP says auctions of both large and small livestock play an important role in the food value chain

Minister Dlamini-Zuma must repeal irrational regulations stopping auctions

4 July 2021

The DA is calling on the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to urgently repeal the irrational regulations stopping the auctions of livestock to take place during the current Level 4 lockdown.

The DA notes that the Minister allowed auctions to take place in accordance with stringent safety protocols during last year’s Level 4 lockdown. The regulations then allowed auctions to place as long as only owners of livestock, livestock agents and livestock agencies, registered with the registrar were allowed to hold or attend auctions, provided that they all had the necessary documentation required under the Stock Theft Act to transport livestock to and from the venue where auction was conducted.

Strong safety protocols were followed during these auctions which were hybrid in nature and held with great success. It should be noted that not one such auction turned into a super spreader event.

In terms of current Disaster Management Act, 2002, Amendment of Regulations issued in terms of Section 27(2) stipulate in Schedule 21 (16) that gathering at auctions are not permitted until 11 July 2021 after which the provision will be reviewed.

The DA calls on the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) to stop this irrationality and inconsistency in the application of the lockdown rules.

Agriculture is deemed an essential service. Auction of both large and small livestock play an important role in the food value chain. The meat industry is dependent on livestock auctions. While the sales and purchases of livestock directly through abattoirs do occur, the vast majority are through auctions where commercial feedlot, emerging farmers and commercial farmers participate. Most emerging farmers do not have arrangements with butcheries or abattoirs and are dependent on auctions.

This regulation shall have dire consequences on the meat industry, where farmers are still battling the dire consequences of severe drought and Foot-and-mouth-disease restrictions that cost the industry over R10 billion.

The DA calls on the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform (DALRRD), Thoko Didiza, to petition her counterpart, Minister Dlamini-Zuma to allow auctions to take place.

Statement issued by Noko Masipa MP - DA Member on the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development, 4 July 2021