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Hannes de Waal has been appointed as the newly elected chairperson of the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) of Southern Africa’s (SA) board for a two-year term. Hannes, who is currently the CEO of the Sundays River Citrus Company (SRCC), has been a member of the board since 2017, serving as vice-chairperson for the past two years.

The newly elected chairperson of the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) of Southern Africa’s (SA) board, Hannes de Waal.

He also has over 26 years of experience in the citrus industry, first joining the Outspan team at the Durban Container Port terminal. He held various positions over 17 years within the Capespan group, mostly relating to procurement, marketing and logistics. He then joined the SRCC in 2011 as its marketing director and became managing director just four years later, and most recently, its CEO. De Waal also serves as the chairperson of Venco, a young business specialising in the manufacturing of juice and oil concentrate, and the Sundays River Valley Citrus Producer Forum.

In reaction to his election as chairperson, De Waal said: “It is my privilege to serve our dynamic industry in this capacity. Over the past decade, I have had the pleasure of observing the growth and resilience of a valley of smaller farmers who have worked hard to build professional businesses, distributing high quality fruit into local and foreign markets. I am a firm believer that South Africa’s agricultural sector is one in which benefits are enjoyed by all members of the value and supply chain; this is something we must continue to build on.”

CEO of the CGA, Justin Chadwick, congratulated De Waal on his appointment. “Hannes brings a wealth of experience to his new role and has served in various leadership positions in the citrus industry over many years. I look forward to continuing our work together, with the aim of furthering the interests of our citrus growers when it comes to expanding market access and creating an inclusive, profitable and sustainable industry,” said Justin. 

The CGA Board comprises 20 directors. These individuals represent 15 different grower regions, with two directors representing emerging farmers in the northern and southern regions, a director of government relations and a director who heads up the finance and risk review committee. 

A worthy contribution

Chadwick also thanked outgoing chairperson, Cornel van der Merwe, for his contribution to the industry. “On behalf of the CGA, I would like to thank you for the important work you have done over the past two years. The industry has faced a number of serious challenges over this period, and we have appreciated your constant support and steady leadership to navigate through these difficult times. The CGA is thrilled that it will continue to benefit from Cornel’s knowledge and expertise due to him staying on as a board vice-chairperson.”

De Waal echoed Chadwick’s sentiments: “Cornel and I have been friends since my Outspan days and it has been an absolute privilege to serve with him. He is not easily phased and has always led with a pragmatic and cheerful approach, regardless of the challenges presented. I am also immensely grateful for the fact that he will remain within the role as vice-chairperson to ensure continuity.”

Gerrit van der Merwe fills the position of second vice-chairperson, with Piet Engelbrecht, George Hall and Jan-Louis Pretorius making up the remainder of the board executive. – Press release, Citrus Growers’ Association

Read more about the South African citrus industry here.