Landboumaatskappye as onderneming in die lig van die nuwe koöperasiewet
Grobler, Martha Johanna
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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 emerging farmer. 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.