It’s that time of the year again – we get to spend lots of time with our family and loved ones. Hello festive season!
It has been a busy year for the sugar industry. We have had a number of firsts this year. Remember when we took to the streets of Tshwane in June marching to the offices of the Department of Trade against the avalanche of sugar imports, mainly from Brazil and UAE, which almost crippled our industry? Our efforts bore fruit as the Dollar Based Reference Price (DBRP) was eventually increased from $566 to $680! Although we did not get the reference price of $856 we had applied for, the new DBRP ($680) has been able to cushion us against sugar imports.
In this issue, we bring you more firsts for the industry! For the first time ever, the South African Sugar Association (SASA) has a female Vice-Chairperson. That’s not all. Lindiwe “Lee” Hlubi is also the first black woman to hold such a position in the history of the industry! Her article will help you understand who this sugarcane farmer, with humble beginnings, is.
As further proof of the concerted industry’s endeavours to redress the imbalances of the past, the industry has committed a billion rand towards transformation over a five-year period. SASA Chairperson, Hans Hackmann, presented the industry’s five-year transformation plan to the parliamentary Committee on Trade and Industry on 5 December 2018 at Parliament in Cape Town. The article inside these pages goes into detail regarding the specifics of the plan.
Another major development for the industry has been the official recognition of the South African Farmers Development Association (SAFDA) as a member of the industry. This means SASA now has three members… SAFDA, South African Cane Growers’ Association (SACGA) and South African Sugar Millers’ Association (SASMA). This edition carries year-end messages from the Chairpersons of SASMA, SAFDA and SACGA.
Other stories include the European Union’s visit to the world-class sugar terminal, the Durban Wellness Festival (which SASA sponsors every year), the economic legacy of the Selati Cup and an early childhood development programme in Mpumalanga which is making a big difference in the lives of children and people in the rural place of Nkomazi. Of course, there are more interesting articles to keep you glued to this issue of the South African Sugar Journal.
We have some tantalising recipes for Christmas which will excite your taste buds. On that note, we wish you a fantastic festive season and a happy new year. Enjoy the read!
External Affairs Director
South African Sugar Association