Sugar industry welcomes government's efforts

Sugar industry welcomes government's efforts

The sugar industry has welcomed government’s efforts to boost it.

Helene Valenzuela / AFP

Ahead of the SONA, the South African Cane Growers Association had urged the government to continue championing the masterplan signed in November, to save the industry. 

It's a commitment from large users like retailers and wholesalers to procure at least 80% of their sugar needs from local farmers.

Last night, President Cyril Ramaphosa said support for small-scale farmers was being stepped up. 


He said a beverage producer had to commit to buying from small to medium enterprise producers here.

Chairperson of the association, Rex Talmage, says one million livelihoods will be saved if in this way. 

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He says of the nearly 23-thousand cane growers, 94% are small-scale farmers who depend on the country's support to survive. 

"This recognition by the president on the sugar industry's contribution to the nation is a testament to the many growers large and small. 

"We have met with difficult circumstances with determination and hard work. Our preliminary findings show that sales of local sugar have increased by 12% compared to last year." 

He says the real work begins now.

 "This is only a journey to revitalise the industry." 

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