The Court ruled in favour of Grain SA in Pretoria today in an urgent application urging the Government to publish the new wheat import tariff. The new tariff of R1 591.40 per ton triggered on 24 May 2016 and Government dragged their feet in the pub-lishing thereof until the Court made a ruling today.
The Court instructed SARS to publish the new tariff in the Government Gazette no later than Wednesday 24 August 2016.
“It is a sad day that we need to manage Government through the Courts, but at least this worked for us,” said Jannie de Villiers, CEO of Grain SA. It already took the Government Departments involved 60 working days without a commitment as to when it will be published. Grain SA also lodged an urgent case in April 2016 for exactly the same reasons, but SARS published the tariff on the day of the Court case – 84 working days later.
Trading in the South African wheat market almost came to a halt given all the uncertainties and delays. We need certainty. It is unfortunate that the consumers did not benefit from this delay as the cheaper international prices of wheat were not passed on to the battling consumers by decreasing bread prices.
Grain SA believes that this ruling will assist the whole value chain to bring certainty to the market and give some indication as to some reasonableness in administering these tariffs.