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Poultry master plan on track after Covid-19 delays

The Poultry Sector Master Plan has a very high priority in government, and every effort is being made to catch up on delays and complete it on schedule by the end of 2023.

This is the view of Izaak Breitenbach of the SA Poultry Association, who is in constant contact with government over implementation of the master plan. FairPlay asked him how the master plan signatories – government, the poultry industry, importers and unions – intend to overcome the considerable delays in implementing the poultry master plan. Many of the delays are due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The answers are encouraging. Firstly, master plans in general, and the poultry master plan in particular, are getting priority attention in government. Senior officials are responsible for seeing that things happen. 

Secondly, all poultry plan actions have dates and timelines and there is constant pressure to report on progress and account for delays. An implementation convenors council meets weekly, reviewing reports from task teams on various projects that meet during the week. All of this is reported quarterly to the Executive Oversight Committee (formerly the Master Plan Council) which is chaired by Minister Ebrahim Patel of DTIC and includes Minister Thoko Didiza from the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development.

Thirdly the master plan is already having a positive impact in the poultry industry, despite considerable delays since the document was signed in November 2019.

Finally, the pressure is on to meet the original completion date. There may have to be tweaks and adjustments, and there will have to be flexibility if it appears that some dates cannot be met, but the 2023 target date remains.

The master plan aims to curtail imports, boost domestic consumption and expand production to serve both the local and export markets. It envisages creating nearly 5 000 jobs by the end of 2023. That’s a goal we should make every effort to achieve.