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AFRICA CHICKS BID TO DEVELOP BREEDER

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NCABENI – Africa Chicks Swaziland has proposed to develop a breeder farm that specialises in the production of fertilised eggs for either broiler or egg production.

Africa Chicks (Pty) Ltd, which has proposed to develop the area through the project, has conducted an environmental and social impact assessment (ASIA), which is available for public inspection. This development will be on a horseshoe farm, which is a private farm at Ekukhulumeni community and was acquired by Africa Chicks. The proposed project objectives entail the pre-construction phase, the construction phase (site establishment, earthworks, and more), and the operational phase (operation and maintenance of the breeder farm). The objectives of the farm have presented opportunities for locals in terms of the procurement of work, services, and goods.

opportunities

In the report, it was mentioned that job and business opportunities will be available during all phases of the project. “The design phase of the project will create business opportunities for various professionals who will be involved in the planning stages of the project, and the project activities during the construction phase will generate employment opportunities,” mentions the report. It was also mentioned that the project will provide a market for goods and services by promoting the primary and secondary sectors involved in their procurement. “Construction work activities will be planned in consultation with the local authority so that activities with the potential to generate noise are planned during periods of the day that will result in the least disturbance,” reads part of the report.

development

The proposed development of the breeder farm will cover an area of about 940.8044 hectares (ha), and it will consist of the construction of a rearing site and a laying house. The rearing site will have two rearing houses, with each house having two phases. Phase One is the first phase to be constructed in the development of the farm. This phase will have a total of three sites; each site will have four (4) sheds with dimensions of 120 metres by 20 metres, and they will be between 200 metres and 1 000 metres apart. Each site will be approximately the size of a soccer pitch (100m by 100m). Phase one of the project will have the farm produce 250 000 eggs per week. The project site is located on a privately-owned farm by Africa Chicks Swaziland (Pty) Ltd, and they have been allocated a total of three portions of the farm, which are located in Manzini.

The first portion is Portion C of Farm 99, which measures a total of 428.2660 hectares (ha). The second portion is the remaining extent of Farm No. 241, with a total of 130.1822 ha, and the third portion is Farm No. 1347, which measures 382.3563 ha. Project activities for this development fall within the preconstruction, construction, and operational phases. Activities in the preconstruction phase include site surveys with surveyor specialists, finalising designs with architects, the procurement of permits or licences, and the procurement of services and materials.

temporary

The construction phase includes site establishment, temporary accommodation, ablutions and service establishment. The report also indicated that decommissioning and rehabilitation activities would also take place. It was also agreed that operational activities on the farm will include the breeder, maintenance structures, waste management, intercropping, and cattle rearing. A total of 36 people will be employed to work on site for the implementation of the projects. Worth noting, the Eswatini Competition Commission (ESCC) approved the acquisition of Horseshoe Farm in Manzini by Africa Chicks Swaziland (Pty) Ltd earlier this year. The farm was owned by Early Harvest Farming (Pty) Ltd., and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Muzi Dlamini disclosed that the farm consisted mainly of grasslands with some old irrigated lands and is currently used for grazing. He said they considered the products of the firms and concluded that the relevant market was the market for farmland in the Manzini Region. “There are overlaps between the activities of the merging parties since Africa Chicks owns commercial land for farming at Extension 1 Ngwenya Industrial Site, Oshoek.

transaction

However, the overlaps do not come about as a result of this transaction since the farmland being acquired is in a different geographical area,” added Dlamini. As such, the CEO mentioned that there would be no market share accretion in the relevant market, and the transaction was categorised as phase one because the combined market share post-merger was below 15 per cent. Postmerger, he said the market shares in the relevant market, market concentration, and barriers to entry would not be affected, and, hence the transaction was unlikely to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the country. Therefore, the transaction was approved without conditions. ESCC approved nine mergers and acquisitions in the second quarter. ESCC examines merger notifications in order to make a determination on the effects of such transactions on competition and then either gives conditional approval, approval with conditions, or prohibits the transactions based on the outcome of the analysis.

approved

The approved mergers in the second include the acquisition by Mr. Price Group Limited (‘Mr. Price’) of sole control over Blue Falcon 188 Trading (Pty) Ltd., trading as Studio 88 Eswatini (Pty) Ltd. ESCC said they considered the products of the firms and concluded that the relevant market was the retail of branded sports-lifestyle, athleisure-oriented clothing, apparel, footwear, and accessories by departmental chain stores in Eswatini. They said there were no overlaps between the activities of the merging parties in the relevant market and that the proposed transaction was as such categorised as phase one. “Post-merger, there will be no market accretion in the relevant market; market concentration, countervailing power, and barriers to entry will not be affected; and the transaction is unlikely to result in the substantial lessening or prevention of competition.” Consequently, the proposed transaction was approved without conditions,” adds the commission.

Another approved acquisition was the acquisition of 49.36 per cent of shares by Adia (Pty) Ltd in Orchard Insurance (Pty) Ltd from African Alliance Limited. The commission said there were overlaps between the activities of the merging parties in the relevant market since Adia was already a shareholder in Orchard. ESCC added that the transaction was categorised as phase one because the combined market share post-merger is below 15 per cent. “There will be no market share accretion since Adia and its shareholder do not own, directly or indirectly, any other insurance business in Eswatini. Post-merger, the market shares in the relevant market, market concentration, countervailing power, and barriers to entry will not be affected, and hence the transaction is unlikely to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the country. Therefore, the transaction was approved without conditions,” added the commission.

The third merger and acquisition approved was the acquisition by Xerotech Proprietary Limited of the entire issued share capital in the Altron Document Solutions business division (‘ADS’) of Altron TMT Proprietary Limited. ESCC said the transaction was approved without conditions. The commission said the transaction was a foreign-to-foreign merger between two South African entities. However, due to their sales into Eswatini, there was a horizontal overlap in their activities, particularly with regard to the sale of OAE and related consumables.

acquisition

They said the transaction was categorised as a phase one merger since the combined market shares of the merging firms are less than 15 per cent. The acquisition of a 45 per cent shareholding by the Public Service Pensions Fund PSFP in Swaziland Radiology Services (Swaziland Radiology) was also approved by the commission. ESCC said there were no overlaps between the activities of the merging firms. Pursuant to the implementation of the proposed transaction, PSPF acquired control over Swaziland Radiology with a 45 per cent shareholding. Post-merger, ESCC said the market shares in the relevant market and market concentration would not change in that the acquiring firm was a new player in the relevant market, countervailing power and barriers to entry would not be affected or altered, and hence, the transaction was unlikely to result in the substantial lessening or prevention of competition.

Since it was a busy year, the commission further approved the acquisition by Eric Slabbert Agencies (PTY) Ltd. of industrial land from The Reclamation Group (Swaziland) (PTY) Ltd. Eric Slabbert Agencies is a private company with limited liability and has been in operation in Eswatini since 2004. Its operations include a fabric and paper facility at 12th Street, Matsapha (premises leased from the Eswatini Investments Promotion Authority (EIPA).

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