SA company contracted to control Namibian borders

“Better control at neighbouring countries’ borders, means that we can better protect our local industries against illegal imports and trade.
Issue date : 29 August 2008

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“Better control at neighbouring countries’ borders, means that we can better protect our local industries against illegal imports and trade.” So said Dr Hennie Kleynhans, managing director of Agri Inspec, a company that has been awarded a three-year contract to control customs on the Namibian border. The border posts that will be managed by are Buitepos, Nakop, Ariamsvlei, Vioolsdrif, Noordoewer, Oshikango and Katimo Mulilo.Agri Inspec is an investigative agency that offers monitoring services to agricultural and corporate industries, to prevent illegal imports and trade and other import irregularities.

The contract was signed with the Namibian Agronomic Board, Namib Mills and Namibia Dairies. “We have six years of experience in and the contracts are the result of presentations and recommendations we made to the Namibian authorities after controlling only two border posts in the past,” said Henk Heslinga a project manager with Agri Inspec. The agency will control the movement of all grain, maize, vegetable and fruit, including in transit grain and maize to Angola, the monitoring of import tariffs, and the declarations on milk and pasta volumes and values that pass over Namibian borders.

Milk and pasta products are classified as infant industries in Namibia, resulting in a 40% import levy payable on all pasta products and Ultra High Temperature processed milk (UHT) imported into Namibia. “Agri Inspec have already identified several companies guilty of under-declaration and are working closely with Namibian customs,” added Kleynhans. – Wouter Kriel

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Wheat farmers take on transport costs

Western Cape farmers are upset by the recent announcement that the transport differential would be raised from R310/t to R420/t by the start of October. ndries Theron, chairperson of Grain SA’s Specialist Winter Working Group said most farmers in the Western Cape have voiced dissatisfaction for years over the way the transport differential is calculated, but nothing has been done to change the system.

He explained that farmers feel it is unfair that transport is based on what it would cost for them to transport their wheat to Randfontein, even though more than half of the province’s production isn’t transported far, as it’s used in the province. He added that farmers feel the mechanism is biased towards wheat buyers. As a result, farmers have developed a distrust of Safex. Theron didn’t want to say more, as a delegate representing the farmers will be meeting with Safex representatives over the next few weeks to discuss their grievances.

Prof Johann Kirsten, an agricultural economist at the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy Research, pointed out that changing the way the transport differential is calculated or finding an alternative system to determine transport costs wouldn’t necessarily benefit Western Cape farmers. He said other input costs have a much higher impact on farm profitability than the transport differential and farmers should rather focus their energy on finding ways to manage these. – Glenneis Erasmus