WINDHOEK- The wheels have been set in motion to bring back after-hours auctions. Meetings are now being set up with the relevant authorities and if all goes well, buyers and sellers will next year be treated again to evening auctions that have attracted scores of attendants in the past before they were cancelled because government was unable to pay veterinarians overtime for after-hours work.
Buyers and sellers of livestock have been complaining after a circular from the Directorate of Veterinary Services did away with auctions at 18:00, informing auctioneers that government can no longer pay veterinarians the overtime for work done after 17:00 as required by law. Owner of Namboer Auctioneers, Piet Coetzee, confirms that various livestock organisations have joined him in his quest to bring back the evening auctions. Without revealing details, he notes that talks are scheduled to take place on various levels to make evening auctions a reality again.
“The entire industry has suffered due to the auctions now taking place at 12:00 at our pens and the pens of other auctioneers. It has been catastrophic because hardly any buyers or sellers can avail themselves and their animals at that time of the day during the week. The result was that fewer and fewer people have been attending these midday auctions to the detriment of all involved. We have established a social media chat group to address the issue and have been inundated by angry producers and potential buyers who want the auctions to be shifted to 18:00 so that they can prepare better and have ample time to bring their animals to town,” he notes.
Prominent producers have expressed their dissatisfaction with the situation, saying it has been proved over decades that after-hours auctions are the most convenient and successful. They pointed out that stands were always packed during after-hours auctions and auctioneers went out of their way to make these events special by offering a barbecue and a coffee shop which contributed to a festive and enjoyable atmosphere.
Coetzee says the current situation has impacted on attendance numbers as well as prices of animals. He says last year showed how the average prices of Boer Goat, Kalahari Red and Savanna have dropped, blaming this squarely on the weak attendance during mid-day auctions. “We have reached an advanced stage of negotiating with the relevant authorities to assist them in bringing back the evening auctions. I am very positive that we will succeed and bolster the industry by re-introducing evening auctions,” he concludes.
2018-11-06 10:24:11 10 months ago