/ 21 October 1999

Govt offloads Abakor

OWN CORRESPONDENT, Johannesburg | Thursday 12.30pm.

PUBLIC Works Minister Jeff Radebe has announced that the government is to sell the abattoir parastatal, Abakor, as well as several non-core businesses of Denel.

Speaking after a meeting of the inter-miniterial Cabinet committee on the restructuring of state assets, Radebe said Abakor will be sold “voetstoots”.

The decision has been taken because of difficulties experienced, especially at Pyramid in Kimberley and City Deep in Johannesburg. Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza said some interest has already been expressed in Cato Ridge in Durban.

Negotiations will determine whether to sell the parastatal as a whole or as separate entities.

Radebe also announced that half of the government-owned shares in the catalyst manufacturer Syncat is to be sold to a German company.

Meanwhile Trade and Industry Minister Alec Erwin said South Africa needs to take advantage of the staggering trade and investment opportunities available in Africa.

Speaking at the official opening of the National Export Week at Nasrec outside Johannesburg he said this needs a systematic, planned and well-organised interaction with the continent.

“In the economy that is on our own door step and which is going to grow in decades we are not present, but we are present in Europe,” he said.

“If we export to our neighbours, we must import from them as well.”

Erwin said trade between developed countries has been increasing, but with very little interaction with the developing countries of Africa, Latin America and Asia.