Agricultural Digest 2005/2006


Agri South Africa

National African Farmers' Union (NAFU)

Agricultural and farmers' unions


The Executive Director: Mr Hans van der Merwe.
President: Mr Japie Grobler.
Agri SA, P O Box 1508, Pretoria 0001.

Tel (012) 322 6980. Fax: 012-3200557.

South African farmers have organised themselves into a strong, united agricultural front, with Agri SA as apex organisation acting as mouthpiece for all farmers at national level, with the purpose of ensuring the best possible financial and social position for the farmer within the national economy.

Apart from representing farmers’ interests as such, Agri SA is also the voice of the strong and sophisticated agricultural movement in South Africa as the cooperatives also form part of the movement. This situation is largely unique but makes good sense in that both the farmers’ organisations as such and the agricultural cooperatives are organised and controlled by farmers to promote their interests.

The objectives of the farmers and of their cooperatives are therefore the same and the concentration of farmers and their cooperatives in the same organisation further strengthens organised agriculture, to the benefit of the entire farming community. A farmer can become a member of organised agriculture in different ways. Normally he joins a local farmers’ organisation – the foundation of organised agriculture – which is affiliated to a provincial agricultural union and which in turn is affiliated to Agri SA. The farmers’ associations act in regard to local matters and the provincial unions coordinate matters at provincial level and make recommendations regarding national matters to Agri SA.

There are also a number of special commodity organisations, which are affiliated to either the provincial agricultural unions or direct to Agri SA. Examples of these are organisations for grain producers, wool growers, sugar-cane growers, poultry producers, timber growers and vegetable and fruit producers.

Agri SA recently restructured itself (and changed its name from the South African Agricultural Union) in three substructures. i.e.:

• the Provincial Chamber to accommodate the pro-vincial agricultural unions affiliated to Agri SA;
• the Commodity Chamber to accommodate commodity organisations affiliated to Agri SA;
• the Agricultural Business Chamber to accommodate approximately 90 cooperatives and agri-business associates of Agri SA.

General policy matters are handled by Agri SA’s Annual Congress – which is also the highest authority in the organisation – and by the General Council and Executive Committee. The three substructures mentioned are all represented in the Congress, General Council and Executive Committee.

The Agricultural Business Chamber has its own congress (bi-annual) council and executive committee. The members of the Provincial Chambers each have their own annual congresses as well as general councils and executive committees. Likewise the members of the Commodity Chamber each have their own structure with annual or bi-annual congresses, general councils and executive committees.

Agri SA’s structures of authority are supported by twelve functional committees. The small three-man committees are elected annually on the basis of expertise and knowledge and not on representativeness. Each committee is administered and managed by a functionary who has expert knowledge in the specific field. The twelve functional areas handled by the the committees are:

  • Agricultural Marketing Trade and Industry

  • Labour Affairs

  • Economic Affairs

  • Land Affairs

  • Safety and Security

  • Communication

  • Farmer Development

  • Development and Transfer of Technology

  • Water Affairs

  • Constitutional Development

  • Environmental Affairs

  • Training.

Agri South Africa is fully representative of farmers of all races and is as such recognised at Government level as mouthpiece of the farming community and the organisation is regularly consulted regarding all matters affecting farmers and the agricultural sector.

The Functional Committee on Farmer Development gives particular attention to the needs of emerging farmers.

Agri South Africa also represents agriculture on a number of official bodies such as the National Economic Development and Labour Council, National Training Council, Agricultural Research Council, etc, as well as on international bodies such as the International Federation of Agricultural Producers and the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions.

Agri South Africa further plays an important role in the encompassing body, Business South Africa.

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The Executive Director, NAFU, P O Box 9624, Centurion 0046.
President: Mr Motsepe Matlala.
Tel (012) 672 9301. Fax: 012-6729309.


The National African Farmers’ Union (NAFU) was established in 1991 with the aim of creating a "home" for thousands of black farmers who had previously been excluded from the mainstream of agriculture.

At the time of its formation there was no farmer organisation operating at national level in South Africa. Between 1979 and 1991 the only organisation which attempted to address the needs of black farmers at national level was NAFCOC. This organisation eventually facilitated the formation of the National African Farmers’ Union.

The historical issues associated with the poor state of agriculture among black South Africans are well documented. Inter alia, the following factors handicapped black farmers:

  • Black people could not buy land within the borders of South Africa. They were confined by law to the homelands which are known to have marginal agricultural potential. Over-population in these areas resulted in the degradation of the environment and in widespread poverty;

  • Lack of funding resulting from misdirected policies as well as from inadequate land tenure;

  • Inadequate extension services and training;

  • Inaccessible markets.


NAFU is a mouthpiece of predominantly black small-holder farmers in South Africa. NAFU strives to actively promote the interests primarily of black farmers who are largely a disproportionately disadvantaged farming community.

NAFU therefore represents the aspirations of those who have been disadvantaged, neglected and mar-ginalised.

The focus of NAFU has been on advocacy and it has and continues to lobby for access to critical resources such as land, credit, information, extension and other support services. However, NAFU also played and continues to play a role in building the capacity and strength of its membership through the use of effective communication systems, training, improving management skills and exposing farming to the latest and most up-to-date production techniques.


The broad aims of NAFU are:

  • To lobby for policy reforms aimed at levelling the field in all agricultural matters with particular reference to land acquisition, agricultural funding, market access and public policy

  • To lobby for the provision of appropriate services e.g. extension, marketing and credit to members

  • To identify, quantify and address the needs of members

  • To facilitate the provision of training

  • To empower women and young people so as to enable them to participate fully in farming activities.

NAFU affiliates

NAFU has members all over SA who have constituted themselves into regional unions. Turn to the heading "Agricultural and farmers’ unions" in this publication for further particulars on the affiliated unions of NAFU.


NAFU draws its members from a very broad base which includes farmers, agribusinesses, farmers’ organisations, corporations and individuals who support NAFU’s objectives and goals.

• Individual members

Farmers and agribusiness can join as individual members. Agribusiness includes companies, as well as close corporations and trusts. Individual membership is allowed only in cases where there is no local association or regional union.

• Farmers’ associations/unions

This category includes farmers’ associations, regional farmers’ unions and agricultural cooperatives.

• Corporate members

This form of membership is for companies which support NAFU’s objectives, are active in the South African economy and are also directly or indirectly involved in agriculture.

• Associate members

This is open to those who support NAFU’s objectives and are not eligible to join as members under any of the preceding categories.

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  • Agri South Africa
    P O Box 1508, Pretoria 0001. 
    Tel (012) 322 6980. Fax: 012-3200557. 
    Mr Japie Grobler

Agri Eastern Cape
P O Box 34889, Newtonpark 6055. (Port Elizabeth).
Tel (041) 363 1890. Fax: 041-363 1896.

Ms S Matthews

Agri Free State
P O Box 54, Bloemfontein 9300. 
Tel (051) 444 4609.Fax: 051-4444619. 

Mr P. Möller

Agri Mpumalanga
P O Box 619, Ermelo 2350. 
Tel (017) 819 1295. Fax: 017 819 1297

Mr N.L. Bosman

Agri Northern Cape 
P O Box 1094, Kimberley 8300. 
Tel (053) 832 9595. Fax: 053-8327126. 

Mr P.J.J. van Rensburg

Agri North West 
P O Box 3185, Lichtenburg 2740. 
Tel (018) 632 2987/ 3612. Fax: 018-6322512. 
Mr W.P. Auret

Agri Western Cape
P O Box 227, Paarl 7620. 
Tel (021) 860 3800. Fax: 021-8723388.
Mr J.S. Bothma

Kwanalu (KwaZulu-Natal)
P O Box 186, Pietermaritzburg 3200. 
Tel (033) 342 9393. Fax: 033-3457141.

  • Transvaal Agricultural Union   (TAU SA)                           
    P O Box 51, Silverton 0127. (Pretoria). 
    Tel (012) 804 8031.Fax: 012-8042014. 
    Web site: 

    President: Mr Paul van der Walt.


  • National African Farmers’ Union (NAFU)
    P O Box 9624, Centurion 0046 (Pretoria).
    Tel (012) 672 9301. Fax: 012-6729309.
    President: Mr Motsepe Matlala.

Great North Farmers’ Union,
P O Box 297,Giyani 0826. 
Tel (015) 812 2913. Fax: 015-812 3852.

Mr P.M. Mathe.

NOPAFU, P O Box 229, Koringpunt 0632.
Tel and fax: (015) 642 3590. 

Mr Joe Gondo.

North West 
North West Farmers’ Union, 
P O Box 2923, Mafikeng 2745. 
Tel (018) 381 0017. Fax: 018-3810018.

Mr M.G. Morule.

Mpumalanga Farmers’ Union,
P O Box 664, Malelane 1320. 
Tel (013) 7802 ask for 1641. Fax: 013-790 7742. 
Mr F.D. Mashele.

NAFU/ KwaZulu-Natal Farmers’ Union, 
P O Box 186, Pietermaritzburg 3200. 
Tel (033) 342 9394. Fax: 033-3457141. 

Mr Ntuli.

Eastern Cape
Butterworth Subregion Union,
P O Box 227, Idutywa 5000. 
Cell: 082 657 3698. Fax: 0474-4913556. 

Mr W.A. Stofile.

Fair Deal Poultry Farmers, 
P O Box 5020,Zuurbekom 1787. 
Tel: (011) 851 1059. Fax: (011) 851 1027

Ms Sabina Khoza.

Free State
P O Box 19619, Bloemspruit 9364.
Tel (051) 526 1634. 

Ms Rakgogo.

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