Table of Contents

1. Overview

A calendar auction auction is held on the same place /auction pens on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or even yearly basis by an agent who advertises the auction in a calendar. The venue for the auction would have been selected and developed over years and its mere survival shows that there is a need for such an auction. The sellers and buyers at the calendar auction can vary according what is on offer and what are the needs of both seller and buyer. The auctioneer, marketing officer, accountant, roll clerk and labourers facilitate the auction and their versatility enables them to even conduct real estate auctions.

  • The marketing officer will source the livestock for the auction, receive it at the auction pens, classify the animals in lots preferred by buyers and he and the auctioneer will source buyers to attend the auction.
  • The accountant will see to the financial administration -- all statutory requirements as well as collecting payments and financing of buyers, and payment of sellers.
  • The roll clerk will keep accurate records of what is sold, by whom, price of animals and who is the buyer.
  • The labourers will identify the animals and load them on trucks to be delivered at the buyers place.

A special auction is an auction requested by a seller or sellers to sell some their livestock or a seller could sell of his livestock, farms etc. It could be a dispersal sale if the seller stops farming.

At a stud auction animals of special breeding qualities are for sale. The auctioneer, seller/sellers will work closely with a breed society who will select the animals according to their standards for such an auction. The auctioneer conducting this auction is a specialised stud auctioneer. The Stud Breeders’ Manual includes an in-depth look at animal and performance recording, the principles of marketing purebred livestock. Visit or call 051 410 0900 for more information.

At game auctions game is either sold in a open auction or on catalogue. Special arrangements are needed to transport game and auction pens and handling facilities must be according to specifications. All auctions are attended by NSPCA personnel to make sure animals are being handled humanely and facilities meet specified criteria.

A private treaty is where a marketing officer/agent facilitates a transaction directly between a seller and buyer of livestock. The transaction is well documented.

Farmers can also, of course, sell their animals at guaranteed prices to abattoirs, feedlots etc. with the help of an agent or not. The buyer becomes the owner of the animal. Contract slaughtering refers to animals that are being slaughtered and the farmer is being paid on a kg carcass basis. The 5th quarter (the skin etc) covers the slaughtering fees.

The role players in livestock marketing

  • Agents – they facilitate transactions between sellers and buyers on a professional basis.
  • Sellers – primary and secondary producers Buyers – abattoirs, trade, feedlots, speculators
  • Financers (usually banks)

The livestock market and related value chain is the single biggest industry in Agriculture in SA. All the role players in the value chain add value and enable survival of the industry.



2. National strategy and government contact

Agricultural Products Agents Council (APAC) Tel: 011 894 3680 Agents in South Africa must register with APAC in terms of the Agricultural Products Agents Act (Act 12 of 1992 as amended). APAC regulates three categories of agricultural produce agents, namely: Fresh Produce Agents, Livestock Agents and Export Agents.

Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) Directorate: Marketing Tel: 012 319 8455 Auctions are included in the discussion on marketing of livestock in Training Paper No. 7 of the very useful Agricultural Marketing Extension series. Find this at – take “Resource Centre” and then the "publications” options. On the same website, see The Livestock Auctioneering Process, part of the small-scale farmer marketing series.

The Animals Protection Act, 1962 (Act 71 of 1962) is relevant to this chapter. The Code of Practice for the handling of livestock at saleyards and vending sites, based on the Act, can be found on the internet.

There are two South African National Standards, SANS 1469:2014 Humane handling and facilities for the protection of livestock at shows, auction sales, vending sites and livestock pounds and SANS 1488:2014 Humane transportation of livestock by road which have been published to protect livestock during transport and whilst at livestock auctions. These two Standards are read together with the Animals Protection Act, 71 of 1962 and any other relevant national legislation. The Standards are available from the South African Bureau of Standards, at


3. Role players

Refer to the “Abattoirs” chapter for details of other role players and major commercial groups.


  • South African Federation of Livestock Auctioneers (SAFLA) is a federation for livestock auctioneers. Contact the secretary at 012 460 2054. SAFLA is one of the members of the Red Meat Industry Forum. See
  • SA Feedlot Association (SAFA) Tel: 012 667 1189 A major market focused on at auctions is the slaughter market which has its own specific requirements. This is a different market to stud stock trading.


  • South African Institute of Auctioneers (SAIA) Find the Regional Representatives, Auctioneers by Province, Auction Info and other menu options on the website. The Code of Conduct for agents is also available.
  • Most Breeders’ Societies now specify a (within breed) standard catalogue format for auctions. Each has its own rules. Find role players in the “Animal Improvement and breeders” chapter.
  • South African College of Auctioneers Tel: 011 979 0176/8 Courses are held nationwide (the website carries news of these).