In this last edition for Year 2017 we bring you a number of exciting stories about the sugar industry. Most are sweet stories about interesting and great developments while a few talk about current challenges facing the industry. We kick off with year-end messages from the South African Cane Growers’ Association and the South African Sugar Millers’ Association reflecting on the year gone by.
Our cover story focuses on a major development regarding the South African Sugar Association (SASA) – a statutory body representing the country’s sugar industry – signing an administration agreement worth R15 659 092 with Chief Land Claims Commissioner Nomfundo Ntloko-Gobodo for the benefit of three restitution claimant communities (Eyethu, Gayede and Siyathokoza). SASA was represented by its Vice-Chairman Hans Hackmann at the ceremony (in Durban) to seal the deal.
Still on the issue of land reform, we carry an article on the recent annual conference of the Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa which was addressed by Advocate Bheki Mbili, Chief Director of the Land Claims Commission in KwaZulu-Natal. He stressed that sustainable settlement models were key to the success of land reform in South Africa.
After zero sugar exports in the last season due to the devastating drought, SASA is back on track this season with sugar exports to the United States of America, European Union, China and Japan. Another good news for the industry is that the Shukela Training Centre has won a prestigious award for being the leading private service provider: AgriSETA skills development.
On the bad news front, the insufficient sugar import tariff and the mooted sugar beverages levy still pose a serious threat to the survival and sustainability of the sugar industry. We have roped in SASA National Market Executive Sifiso Mhlaba to simplify the complex issue of the tariff and help us understand what the influx of sugar imports means for the industry. We then bring you up to speed with the Health Promotion Levy (the so-called sugar tax) which has been passed by the National Assembly.
Human Resources Executive Penny Milner-Smyth has drawn the curtain on a long and illustrious career at SASA. We pay tribute to this HR luminary for her immense and invaluable contribution to SASA during a career spanning two decades and seven years.
Enjoy reading these and other stories inside these pages.
To end on a sweet note involving adding sugar to food, we have some mouth-watering recipes to tantalise your taste buds. Your family will love you for this! Wishing you a fantastic festive season, a merry Christmas and a happy new year.
External Affairs Director
South African Sugar Association