We would like to thank you for your overwhelming positive feedback to our first edition which was publish for the months of October to December last year. We do appreciate your continued input and suggestions.
In the midst of drought, lack of sufficient import tariff protection and other external factors, our government is intending introducing tax on sugar sweetened beverages later this year. Our cover story provides an update on this issue of the mooted tax, which is currently being considered by Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance in conjunction with the Portfolio Committee on Health.
What is encouraging from these two committees is that they are unanimous that National Treasury should consult more and properly so with all relevant stakeholders including the sugar industry. The article also sheds light on the written submission and oral presentation to Parliament by the South African Sugar Association (SASA) Chairman Rolf Lütge during the public hearings.
Other stories include the Association’s building of an outdoor gym for the rural community of Mbumbulu. SASA has a longstanding commitment to promoting healthy lifestyle through exercising and healthy eating. We also sponsored a walk which was aimed at raising awareness about diabetes.
Our article on a roadmap to small-scale grower sustainability gives insight into challenges and obstacles faced by these important role-players in the industry. We also bring you a story of toil and tenacity of small-scale growers from the KwaMbonambi area.
Get ready to read an inspirational story of poor students who have, against all odds, excelled academically. Then enter the Sugar Industry Trust Fund for Education which sees to it that these academic stars have the future they deserve.
Finally, the partnership between the provincial government and SASA aimed at helping small-scale and land reform farmers is delivering positive results. There is an article which brings highlights of some projects recently visited by the industry and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
External Affairs Director
South African Sugar Association