The proposed tariff is meant to protect the local poultry industry and prevent cheap chicken imports from flooding the domestic market.
A high level meeting was held between poultry producers and the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) on Tuesday to discuss the tariff protection and its possible effects on local industry.
“Today was a portfolio committee on agriculture meeting and we had local producers, ourselves, the importers and the Competition Commission. Neither the Department of Agriculture nor the Department of Trade and Industry turned up, that was on the basis of it was not proper for them to participate,” SAPA CEO Kevin Lovell told CNBC Africa on Tuesday.
“It was not a very successful meeting. I don’t think the committee was as well prepared on the topic as it could’ve been. However the decisions about the tariffs actually sit with Trade and Industry and our hopes remain with the department that they’ll come up with the right decision as soon as possible,” he explained.
South Africa exports about half a per cent of what the country produces, which is less than two per cent of world poultry production.
South Africa is however the biggest chicken consumer per capita in the continent, excluding Mauritius. In due course, Africa is expected to become the home of the global poultry market.
According to Lovell, Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies can either decide to accept the tariff recommendation of the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) of South Africa, reject it or refer it back to ITAC for further investigation.
‘We’re going to try and set up another meeting with the portfolio committee as soon as possible. We’ve also tried to set up a meeting with Minister Davies and as he’s rightly pointed out, it would not be proper for us to meet him until he’s finished this matter,” he said.