|dc.description.abstract||The purpose of the research is threefold. The reasons why agricultural co-operatives
converted and were still converting to agricultural companies were looked at first.
This was done, secondly, to determine which business form was the best for new
and emerging era farmers. Lastly the changes to the Co-operative Act (9111981)
were scrutinised in order to determine the effect of the new Co-operative Act
(14/2005), which has been published but the date of commencement is not yet
known, on the form of business selected.
Chapter 1 is an introductory chapter, in which the problem is stated, as well as the
method of investigation which was followed. The problem is stated as follows:
Agricultural co-operatives, which played a huge role in the farming activities of
farmers in the past, have change drastically in form and the manner in which
business is done. A large number of the traditional agricultural co-operatives have
converted to agricultural companies. The developmental history of agricultural cooperatives
and reasons for conversion to agricultural companies are important in
determining which business form would be to the best benefit of the modern and
emerging farmer. The influence of the new Co-operative Act No. 14 of 2005, which
was published in the Government Gazette on 18 August 2005, is also investigated.
In chapter 2 we looked at the developmental history of agricultural co-operatives,
firstly abroad and then in South Africa. Agricultural co-operatives and agricultural
companies were investigated in chapter 3 and 4 respectively in order to determine
the difference in business forms, after which a comparison is made. The essence,
composition, structure and external organisation of both business forms were
investigated. The operational investigation was discussed in chapter 5, where
reasons for conversion could be identified.
The reasons why agricultural co-operatives converted to companies were determined
and it was clear that conversion took place due to political reasons, business
considerations and the possibilities which the company format could offer, which
were not possible in co-operative form. The reasons were therefore not any negative
characteristics or problems in the co-operative form. On the basis of the above, the
conclusion was reached that the co-operative form would best serve a new era or
Chapter 7 deals with the new Co-operative Act and it is clear that the government is
focussing on supporting the so-called "previously disadvantaged agricultural cooperatives.
The issues of equality and poverty are also addressed strongly in the
sense that co-operative structures should be put in place to assist in furthering
equality and relieve poverty. The reaction of the ABC (Agricultural Business
Chamber) to the Act was also discussed.
After this chapter the conclusion that that the co-operative sector can best address
the needs of the emerging farmer, was confirmed. A new or young farmer needs the
assistance and advice of an agricultural co-operative due to the co-operative benefits
which helshe can enjoy. Government will also go out of its way to support
agricultural co-operatives where necessary and the influence of the new Act is very
positive for agricultural co-operatives. As agricultural co-operatives grow stronger,
they can convert to agricultural companies, thereby acquiring other benefits.||