Commented Agri SA president Jaco Minnaar: “Kotzé’s appointment comes at a critical point in South Africa’s trajectory. We need leadership across so many spheres of both the larger South African society and the agricultural industry.
"In the coming years, agriculture will have to navigate the combined impact of challenges such as climate change, deteriorating infrastructure, decaying service delivery, rural safety, shifts in global markets and policy uncertainty.”
Kotzé completed a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economy at the University of Pretoria, a master’s degree in business management and administration, as well as an executive development programme at the Stellenbosch Business School.
He started his career as a farmer and thereafter became an agricultural banker at Absa. After working as a corporate banker in Mozambique, he became an independent business consultant. Kotzé returned to banking and oversaw Africa Agriculture for FNB. Since 2017, he has served as the CEO of the South African Pig Producers Organisation (SAPPO).
“Over the course of my career, I have learned that South African agriculture commands global respect for its efficient farming practices. As an agricultural community, we need to match the natural hope that South African farmers embody with pragmatic solutions to the complex challenges we face.
"Looking ahead, we will have to challenge our thinking on what is realistically possible in the current business environment and position agriculture to leverage partnerships in the broader business and international community.
“In the current conditions, we should not be tempted by frustration but collectively facilitate innovative solutions. The ethos and integrity of our structures need to create the necessary conditions and a culture receptive to change.
“I am confident that as an industry we can collaboratively author a new narrative and unlock the growth potential of agriculture in Africa. Future sustainability is fundamentally a question of leadership,” said Kotzé.