SASTA President
Welcome Address

Gavin Smith 
SASTA President 

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Welcome to the 90th Annual SASTA Congress. SASTA has been hosting successful congresses for the past 90 years and this success is due to the continued support and participation of the SASTA members, as well as the support we receive from the industry, exhibitors and sponsors.  


We would thus like to take this opportunity to thank all delegates, exhibitors and sponsors for their continued support of the SASTA Congress. The sale of the exhibition stands and sponsorship for the event helps SASTA to keep the registration fee at a reduced rate, thus making the SASTA Congress an affordable premier event in the sugar industry’s calendar. 


The SASTA Council strives to host a congress of a high standard that delegates, exhibitors and sponsors are proud to be associated with. Support for the SASTA Congress, through sponsorship and sale of an exhibition stand, has a direct impact on the quality of the congress. SASTA Council values the support received and will acknowledge this at every opportunity throughout the duration of congress.  


All members of the SASTA Council are acknowledged and thanked for their continuing support of SASTA. These individuals share their time and expertise with SASTA and ensure good governance. Thanks are also due to the Congress Organising Committee, all volunteers from SASTA Council, who generously give of their time all year round in order to ensure a high quality congress. The SASTA Congress would not be the successful event it is without their dedication and commitment.


SASTA is pleased to welcome Dr Hennie Groenewald (Executive Manager of Biosafety SA) who will be delivering the keynote address at this year’s congress. Dr Groenewald’s presentation is entitled “GM (genetically modified) sugarcane: Super Pain or Super Cane?” Dr Groenewald will provide an overview of progress made to-date on the development of GM sugarcane in South Africa and comment on the work still required for commercialisation. The industry eagerly awaits GM sugarcane and there will thus be much interest in Dr Groenewald ’s speech.  


Hundred (100) factory and agriculture abstracts were submitted for consideration at the 90th Annual Congress. Although the editorial process has whittled this number down by a few papers, the 90 th Annual SASTA Congress has a full programme and will thus need to run parallel sessions. SASTA thanks all authors for their continued support.  


We trust that you will all enjoy your time at the congress this year. Please feel free to provide us with any constructive feedback to enable us to keep improving.



Gavin Smith

SASTA President 






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