Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize leads business delegation to India
15 Oct 2012
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize today kicked of his business delegation to India with several high profile meetings, including a visit to the Governor of Maharashtra Mr Sharika Kateekal Sankaranayanan.
Dr Mkhize is in the country to strengthen business and cultural relations between the province and India. KwaZulu-Natal shared a special relationship with India through our common heritage dating back through the fight for equality and justice for all citizens across the two countries.
Celebrated human rights campaigner Mahatma Gandhi started his peaceful resistance campaign while living in KwaZulu-Natal. His home in Chatsworth is a stones throw away the home of founding ANC president John Langaiblele Dube in Inanda.
When getting down to business, Dr Mkhize and Agriculture and Environment MEC Meshack Radebe met with Managing Director of Real ID Limited Mr CS Rao to deal with a proposal to pilot a livestock theft combating, particularly across borders.
MR Rao said an electronic identification system is the way forward, which would take the existing legislation on livestock branding to a higher level. Current legislation allows for multiple branding of an animal depending on successive ownership.
Mr Rao said the system gives such detailed information as to where he animal was born, where it was kept, where it was slaughtered and where it was sold. Dr Mkhize said the national government has the policy decision making mandate, but that KwaZulu-Natal can advance the discussion if the electronic identification system is piloted there.
Dr Mkhize said the issue of stock theft has been discussed at variously levels and even at a recent cross border crime conference. He said the scheme, which is based on a chip inserted on an animal, which contains the animal's biographical information, can be very attractive for commercial farmers who are having to deal with stock theft.
"The issue is how do we get the small scale and subsistence farmers on boar and how can this be made affordable for them too," said Dr Mkhize. Dr Mkhize said there is currently a system to upgrade policing along borders will improve combating plans.
"If an animal is stole and taken across the border, it would help for the crackers and he police to have a scanner which would enable them to identify the animal through an embedded chip," said Dr Mkhize.
Mr Raoul said the system can even go as far as assisting to identify areas where epidemics like madcow originated from. The delegation also had an interactive session with three business chambers of Mumbai, where a number of issues were raised by potential investors including the time it takes to move cargo out of the Durban Port and industrial actions by workers during wage negotiations. Dr Mkhize addressed the issues with details of government's plan to expand the Port. He also put to rest fears of disruptions through strikes by explaining how South African legislation gives employees rights but also how both employers and employees are expected to behave during wage negotiations.
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Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Office of the Premier
15 Oct 2012
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