A new era for the sugar industry is upon us! The South African Sugar Association (SASA) Council has made constitutional amendments which will make the industry more inclusive and representative. This has been hailed as a historic moment for the industry which operates in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.
Our cover story unpacks what this major moment means for the industry, especially with regards to transformation. Among the changes, the reconfigured structure will result in SASA Council having an independent Chairperson, and there will be a Department of Trade and Industry observer present at SASA Council meetings. The long-term solution will be implemented at the beginning of the new season on 1 April 2018.
There is an article about an oversight visit by the parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry. The Committee, led by Chairperson Joanmariae Fubbs, toured the South African Sugarcane Research Institute and the Sugar Terminal. The visit helped to enhance the understanding of the industry by Members of Parliament who expressed appreciation for the insight gained.
Through the Sugar Industry Trust Fund for Education, the industry continues to offer financial support to students, from mainly disadvantaged backgrounds, to realise their academic dreams at tertiary level. This year’s recipients of the bursary scheme include students whose parents are domestic workers and farmworkers. One of these academic stars achieved an 84% matric average and is currently studying towards a degree in agricultural engineering. Get the full story inside these pages.
The industry, in partnership with the provincial Department of Health, has built another outdoor gym for a rural community. The industry has a proud long-standing history of commitment to encouraging and promoting healthy lifestyles through exercise and proper diet. The launch of the gym was officiated by the Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo.
Unfortunately, the sugar beverages levy is here. As stated and explained in great detail in previous editions, it is bound to have negative consequences for the industry. We bring you an update on the matter and how the tax will actually work once it comes into effect next month (1 April 2018).
We hope these and other stories in this edition will keep you in the loop regarding the industry. We at SA Sugar Journal, the only official voice of the South African sugar industry, wish you a prosperous and a wonderful 2018.
External Affairs Director
South African Sugar Association