How land reform can boost inclusive agricultural growth

Land reform is not only politically important: it could be a key catalyst for inclusive growth and employment creation. But policymakers need to effect some fundamental reforms and targeted interventions to support emerging commercial farmers. The interventions range from improved governance of the agricultural sector, to massive improvement in port and rail logistics, more effective veterinary practices, and better acess to finance for new farmers.

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Sentiment among contractors in the civil construction sector, as measured by the FNB/BER Civil Confidence Index, remained low at 10 in 2022Q2, from 9 in 2022Q1. The current index level means that ninety per cent of respondents are dissatisfied with prevailing business conditions. Underpinning the still low confidence was poorer construction activity.

The further decline in the seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) suggests that the manufacturing sector experienced a tough start to the third quarter following a weak second quarter. The headline index fell from 52.2 points in June to 47.6 in July . This is the first reading below the neutral 50-point threshold since July 2021 when the looting and unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng hurt output. Electricity supply disruptions were the likely cause of the drop in production last month.

The RMB/BER BCI declined from 46 to 42 in the second quarter. Although manufacturers and new vehicle dealers experienced a sharp deterioration in sentiment, building contractors turned decisively more upbeat. Confidence among retailers and wholesalers remained largely unchanged at relatively high levels.

The FNB/BER Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) plunged to -25 in the second quarter of 2022, from -13 in the first quarter of the year. Bar the CCI reading of -33 in the second quarter of 2020, the current reading is the lowest in three decades and signals a marked slowdown in consumer spending in coming months.