August newsletter

SAMPA Newsletter – August 2020

Dear Members,

At last South Africa can begin to see light at the end of the tunnel as President Ramaphosa announced the move from Level 3 to Level 2 from Tuesday 18th August.

However it is clear from other countries who have relaxed their lockdown restrictions that it is not the time to relax our protocols, all businesses must continue to ensure that staff and customers continue wearing masks, washing hands and practice social distancing remain in place.

Fortunately most of our members were deemed essential service providers throughout the lockdown and have been able to continue trading albeit under very difficult trading conditions. The endless and ever changing rules as well as working remotely or in ways that have severely disrupted business has placed enormous emotional stress on all in the industry.

During Level 5 and 4 there were many communications and Government Notices announcing the ever changing regulations and recommendations. During this time many SAMPA members asked for guidance and clarity and I hope the amount of communication was mostly useful. With the lockdown easing I hope we will be able to enjoy a greater sense of normality as we fast approach the last quarter of 2020.

Since lockdown began, we have seen the regulators begin implementing two regulations,

The following is an update on regulatory activities:

Agency for Food Safety (AFSQ) now the Food Safety Agency (FSA)

FSA started a sampling program under Level 4 and have increased their sampling quantities under Level 3 across all provinces. Due to the Covid -19 restrictions their inspectors have faced at most producer sites, no factory inspections have been conducted to date.

Palesa Mpana the FSA manager has indicated that FSA will send a report of the results of the 1st Quarters testing by the end of August.

NRCS and VC9100

The NRCS began registering producers of processed meat products since October 2019 and in July 2020 they began to communicate the facility numbers to those businesses that had registered. In addition they communicated the details of the NRCS Inspector assigned to each facility.

The next step was to inform producers that they would be undertaking Desk Top Inspections (DTI) rather than onsite inspections due to the restriction imposed by Covid-19. The Desk Top Inspection template has been sent to producers- NRCS inspectors will engage with producers over the next few weeks on the details required.

SAMPA’s Technical Working Group reviewed the Desk Top Inspection document and felt that further clarification of the questions was required. Consequently SAMPA asked the NRCS to hold an industry Webinar to provide clarity and engage the industry on the way forward. This request was turned down by the NRCS.

They have indicated that they will first get feedback on concerns/questions via their inspectors obtained when they do the Desk Top Inspections and Reviews with producers. This the NRCS believe will better inform them of what clarity they need to provide to industry.

Have you been contacted? How did the DTI go? Drop me a mail or call me on 011 0860650 /083 2553486 to give your feedback.

The NRCS Levy

What’s happening about the NRCS levy proposal?

Since October 2019 SAMPA has been engaging with the NRCS regarding the levy. SAMPA made a proposal for a stepped levy rather than the single level levy as proposed by the NRCS in November 2019. SAMPA met with the CEO of the NRCS in February 2020 to discuss the levy amongst other concerns. WE have yet to receive any response.

In July 2020 I reached out to Minister Patel of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) to consider the overall cost to industry of VC9100 and the NRCS levy , together with the costs of R 1283 (DALRRD) and the moneys spent by industry for the implementation of the HACCP regulation R 908 in 2019. We pointed out the overall costs coming on top of the economic pain caused by Covid-19 all of which is an unreasonable burden on both business and the consumer.

The last communication from the DTIC is that Minister Patel would discuss our concern at an inter-ministerial meeting and that the DTIC would feedback later in August.

SAMPA is optimistic that we have been heard and a favorable outcome will result.

Red Meat Statutory Levy

The Red Meat Statutory Levy was due to expire on 3rd November 2020 however the RMIF (Red Meat Industry Forum) applied for a further 2 year extension to the levy , which was granted by Minister Didiza and this means that an updated red meat statutory levy will continue until 4th November 2022.

The details of the Levy extension was communicated last week together with the costs and registration requirements. If you have not seen it yet, it can be found on the SAMPA website. It is important to note that it is the responsibility of each member to register and submit monthly returns applicable for this levy.

Members Contact details

A reminder to drop me a mail of any changes to your teams contact details. New team members or an existing member that may have left your organization.

Also any changes to company details or address or billing information. Kind Regards,

Peter Gordon