[Debate] (Fwd) Doubling of maize price: tough crit of ANC neoliberalism - from the DA!
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Fri Jan 13 05:03:16 GMT 2012
(Yes, the logic of GEAR - always supported by the DA - is poverty and
starvation: */"Maize prices currently cost the local consumer roughly
R2,600 a tonne, around double the price of one year ago. The price is
expected to cross the R3,000 threshold within days. This is as a result
of cheaply exporting maize at R1,400 a tonne to overseas consumers.")/*
Maize prices have doubled - Lourie Bosman
12 January 2012
DA MP says shortsighted export scheme is to blame
*Maize shortages hurt the poor: DA calls for review of export regulatory
Avoidable maize shortages - through shortsighted export arrangements -
have pushed maize prices to record highs. This is having a devastating
effect on the poor as it undermines South Africa's food security and
pushes up the cost of goods.
As it stands, there is no more locally produced maize because it has all
been cheaply exported, leading to a reliance on expensive imported maize.
I have today written to the Minister of Agriculture requesting that she
review the regulatory framework that governs maize exports. Any such
undertaking must be done in consultation with grain producers.
Maize prices currently cost the local consumer roughly R2,600 a tonne,
around double the price of one year ago. The price is expected to cross
the R3,000 threshold within days. This is as a result of cheaply
exporting maize at R1,400 a tonne to overseas consumers.
The maize shortage and consequential increase in the local maize price
is placing a crushing burden on poor families.
Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has dismissed these concerns as a simple
result of 'market dynamics'. This assessment is both hollow and
superficial. We are strongly in favour of promoting an efficient and
globally competitive maize industry. However, a strange obsession with
exports at the expense of local food security is hard to understand. The
broader transaction costs of resulting food price inflation render the
practice economically senseless.
While official CPI data indicates an inflation rate of around 5%, the
true figure for the majority of citizens is much higher. Food costs
constitute the largest portion of most South Africans' budget, and maize
is a significant component of that food cost. 100% inflation in the
maize price has a real effect on real people that is simply not captured
by official data.
Government must take the lead in implementing a fair mechanism that
requires grain exporters to indicate how much grain will leave the
country before the transaction is carried out. We must not undermine the
livelihoods of farmers and farm workers, but we cannot allow people to
go hungry either.
/Statement issued by Lourie Bosman MP//, DA Shadow Minister of
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, January 12 2012/
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