Here Are 10 Things You Never Knew About The South African Sugar Association’s
Commitment To Sustainable Development

We attach great importance to the presence of dignity and respect, honesty, integrity and openness in all our interactions. The ongoing building of a participative and open style of communication is a process that we are all strongly committed to. We aim to ensure that all employees are well informed and involved in all matters that affect them and to which they can contribute.

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SASA’s Social Investment Programmes

SASA has a proud history of corporate social investment, in the fight against poverty and underdevelopment within rural sugar cane growing communities.

The improvement of people’s potential for self-sufficiency through broadening opportunities for development and empowerment.

Overview

  • Welfare programmes are key to addressing problems of extreme poverty and underdevelopment
  • The programmes empower people with tools to escape poverty and establish initiatives that will ensure meaningful development
  • The principle of economic empowerment is fundamental as it enables people to build a strong and sustainable economy that provides opportunities and prosperity for all

Our Intervention

  • Nearly 50% of SASA’s CSI budget goes to programmes geared towards assisting communities achieve social and economic wellbeing
  • Our welfare programme is aligned to the Millennium Development Goals which focus on fighting extreme poverty;halting the spread of HIV and AIDS; promoting gender equality; and eradicating extreme hunger
  • Funding is wide ranging and covers poverty alleviation, income generation, skills development, disability and disaster relief
  • Since 2005, we have supported a host of drop in centres, operating as one-stop shops to accelerate the provision of resources and services to the poor
  • In southern Zululand at Nseleni, a drop-in centre we support feeds more than 300 vulnerable children and orphans daily while also offering counselling and emergency food support
  • In Mpumalanga, a drop in centre we support feeds over 600 orphans every day

Objective: The development of people’s capacities to coordinate and respond to health challenges in a sustainable manner.

Overview

  • In the sugar cane growing provinces alone, close to 2 million people are living with HIV and close to 671 000 children under the age of 18 years are likely to lose both their parents due to HIV and AIDS
  • The epidemic is impacting negatively on the ability of communitiesand families to support and care for themselves
  • Children are the worst affected – becoming parents and heads of households overnight.

Our Intervention

  • Over the last few years, we have joined hands with a range of community based organisations and experts in the medical and nutrition fratenity to improve human health and nutrition.
  • For example, to help reduce the number of babies threatened by HIV and AIDS, we support a UNICEF supported breast milk programme in KwaZulu-Natal. Through this programme pasturized breast milk is used to restore the health of infants neglected and/or abandoned by mothers dying of HIV-related illnesses. The programme has been expanded to rural regions within KZN
  • We also provide seed funding to community based organisations focused on raising awareness about the importance of nutrition in the development of healthy and sustainable communities
  • We participated in a research study on the impact of alternative medicines on people infected with HIV conducted by the University of Zululand in partnership with the Emoyeni Holy Cross Hospice, northern Zululand

The promotion of human dignity ad improved quality of life of the indigent and vulnerable groups.

Overview

  • There are people who find themselves in a persistently poor circumstance, without sustainable support systems at community or family level to overcome problems such as homelessness, household food insecurity, mental illness, substance abuse, physical disabilities, emotional instability and unemployment.
  • There is the working poor – often with some of the skills necessary to survive but limited by income, education and available resources to access food, shelter and health care to improve their quality of life
  • Every day life becomes a struggle

Our Intervention

  • Started decades ago, the programme is one of the most important social investment programmes within SASA
  • We donate sugar on a monthly basis to organisations implementing food security programmes for children, families and communities in chronically poor circumstances
  • Our involvement in this programme is motivated by the desire to help government address national priorities such as poverty & hunger and to contribute to its efforts to build a strong and healthy society
  • Through this programme, we have built trust and relationships with local communities and community development workers
  • Currently, we fund 77 organisations that have a clear objective to support people immobilised by poverty and unemployment

The stimulation of arts and cultural activities within the sugar cane growing communities.

Overview

  • Arts and cultural activities are critical in the pursuit of local economic development in deep rural communities
  • Many rural people find employment in the creation, production, marketing and teaching of the arts

Our Intervention

  • We believe that art is a powerful tool that both entertains and educate people to pay tribute to their own culture and heritage
  • Our work include providing grants to community based enterprises and institutions committed to creating social cohesion and employment opportunities through arts and cultural activities
  • Through our partnership with the Playhouse Company, we support two projects – the Isicathamiya competition and the African Mother Christmas extravaganza
  • The Isicathamiya competition calls on local groups to write songs on issues affecting ordinary people ranging from poverty, child abuse, crime and unemployment
  • Also, in a bid to bring art and cultural activities to all children, particularly vulnerable children, we provide grant funding towards the making of the African Mother Christmas which is a theatre production
  • The African Mother Christmas tells the story of Christmas from an African perspective and the world renowned story teller Ms Gcina Mhlophe plays the lead storyteller in the production.
  • The story highlights the role of parents and the community
    in socialising and honouring children
  • Almost a thousand children in welfare institutions were enabled to attend the show during the Christmas season

The creation and maintenance of a sustainable environment for continuous dialogue and collaboration with all key stakeholders.

Overview

  • All development stakeholders are critical in the pursuit of sustainability within rural communities
  • Stakeholder partnership is based on the notion that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts as the whole is able to generate and use its collective power to achieve social and economic wellbeing for all
  • Partnerships promote the integration of development activities; and the efficient and effective use of resources

Our Intervention

  • The South African Sugar Association is regarded as a leader in the domain of private public partnership
  • We have forged close ties with stakeholders such as nongovernmental organisations, community based organisations, faith based organisations, private sector, academia, traditional leadership, government and sugar growing communities
  • Our NGO partners’ list has risen from 44 in 2005 to over 100 in 2008
  • Such close collaboration has created an environment where all partners are able to identify opportunities for collaboration that will respond to business as well as government imperatives
  • We are also working closely with various non-governmental organisations such as Noah’s Ark, Uthungulu Community Based Foundation, Ubuntu Community Chest, Drop in Centres registered with the Department of Social Welfare, Department of Economic Development and Public Works
  • We sponsor cutting edge social research to monitor unemployment, poverty, HIV and AIDS prevalence within the sugar cane growing communities
  • As a consequence, all stakeholders have a deeper understanding of the social and economic issues impacting on rural communities and the ideal development interventions to address the challenges and needs

The support of environmentally friendly community based development initiatives.

Overview

  • The environment is a crucial element of sustainable development and any form of degradation causes irreversible losses for the rural poor
  • Environmental consideration help to promote the use of the social and economic resources for the benefit of present and future generations

Our Intervention

  • Currently, projects we fund, that have a clear environmental objectives are based in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga provinces
  • We have supported the Dokodweni Eco-tourism Development Programme in KwaZulu-Natal, North Coast
  • The Dokodweni programme is a ground breaking initiative focused on eradicating and controlling alien weed through the process of manual removal and chemical eradication
  • In addition, this eco-tourism programme is focused on upgrading existing camp sites and beach areas to stimulate small business activity in the surrounding rural communities
  • We have teamed up with Sukumani Community Empowerment Project based in Mpumalanga to promote the “greening” of communities through the planting of indigenous trees
  • We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) with regards to environmental protection, with emphasis on the conservation of fresh water, estuarine habitats and the promotion of biodiversity
  • Through this partnership, there is potential to engage in joint water research projects and assisting local environmental committees with appropriate better management programmes

The establishent of community-based enterprises that will accelerate people’s access to opportunities and participation in the mainstream economy.

Overview

  • The rural enterprise programme empowers communities to become economically independent in a sustainable manner
  • It promotes the development and empowerment of previously marginalised groups
  • The programme requires committing resources towards training, mentorship and support activities
  • Success builds a sense of pride and inspires participants to go on to achieve greater things
  • Leveraging the support of government departments and business is critical for the commercial sustainability of initiatives

Our Intervention

  • We are committed to building a strong and sustainable rural economy that promotes the development and empowerment of the previously marginalised groups in rural areas
  • We have focused on providing seed funding in partnership with other stakeholders that will increase people’s chances of gaining employment and/or self employment
  • We partner with the banking sector, government departments and tertiary institutions including iThala Bank; Department of Economic Development, Mangosuthu Technikon, Oxfam Australia and YMCA Amanzimtoti
  • Nine cooperatives formalised by women, youth and people with disabilities have been initiated and supported
  • This has resulted in the improved quality of life of approximately 252 extended family members

The promotion of an environment in which all communities in the sugar growing areas have access to quality education and training.

Overview

  • Education is key to achieving sustainable development and economic growth
  • It open doors to bursaries; employment opportunities; elevated professional status and most importantly, offer a way out of poverty
  • Currently, a large proportion of government as well as business resources have been invested towards providing maths and science learning and teaching materials in the socially and academically disadvantaged schools
  • SASA administors the Sugar Industry Trust Fund for Education on behalf of its Principals

Our Intervention

  • In its 43-year history, the Trust Fund has supported a broad spectrum of programmes ranging from the school building programme; study assistance programme; in-whole school support programme; early childhood development programme; arts and culture programme and water programme
  • The Trust Fund has invested in the lives of over 9 000 learners from socially and academically disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Since 1998, the Trust Fund has built over 530 classrooms, 32 administration blocks and over 74 ablution facilities
  • The Trust Fund has committed resources to support government to double the number of engineering graduates annually
  • The Trust Fund has partnered with the University of KwaZuluNatal and the Tshwane University of Technology in two groundbreaking engineering initiatives i.e. University of KwaZuluNatal Intensive Tuition for Engineers Programme (UNITE) and Tshwane University of Technology Engineering Stepping Initiative (TUTESI)
  • Both these programmes are one year and seek to enhance the readiness of almost 45 high potential learners to enrol in a mainstream engineering degree
  • The Trust Fund Trustees work closely with government departments and non governmental organisations to improve the quality for education in the sugar growing provinces
  • The Trust Fund continues to align its programmes with government’s policies and programmes on education and skills development, particularly the Skills Development Act and the Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA) Programme

The facilitation of strategic distribution of industry resources towards the development and empowerment of small-scale growers within the sugar-growing region.

Overview

  • Grower development covers a wide range of issues, all of which attempt to improve the development, empowerment and growth of farmers/growers
  • Included under the grower development banner is a broad spectrum of interventions including: land reform; farmer training; poverty alleviation; project preparation; mentorship; post settlement support, research and disaster management
  • Grower development also extends to the creation of broad based opportunities that provide the biggest empowerment yields for all previously disadvantaged farmers within the agricultural sector

Our Intervention

  • We utilise the Grower Development Account (GDA) to fund development interventions aimed at improving the livelihood of all black growers, particularly, the small-scale growers
  • The alignment of the GDA funded initiatives with government priorities on land reform and empowerment of farmers has increased our strategic relevance within the public sphere
  • Over the last 10 years, approximately R37 million has been invested in the development and training of growers
  • We have funded the establishment of the Inkezo Land Company to progress the diversification of ownership of agricultural land under sugar cane to competent emerging farmers
  • We have funded the initiation of the seed cane schemes to enable participating small-scale growers to purchase healthy seed cane at a much competitive cost while also learning about the best management practices that encourages responsible and sustainable land use
  • Other initiatives include: providing grant funding towards the implementation of growers training to promote small scale grower sustainability and growth; accelerating the restructuring of the small scale growers to encourage autonomy, accountability and effective use of resources at local levels; conducting the diversity management and leadership workshops to improve trust and working relationship between the emerging growers and commercial growers

To support communities negatively affected by natural disasters within the sugar cane growing communities and beyond.

Overview

  • Natural disasters in their various forms cause long lasting damages to farmers, the surrounding farming communities and struggling local government structures
  • Disasters render farmers, more particularly small scale growers and their families, into a much more vulnerable state
  • Poor rural communities are forced to invest scant resources towards dealing with the aftermath
  • Government departments, corporate and donor agencies play an important role to those left stranded and in need of support

Our Intervention

  • Our disaster management interventions have mainly focuses in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga
  • Since 1982, we have supported the farming communities negatively affected by drought through delivering the much-needed water
  • We have sunk boreholes in the affected areas within the sugar cane growing communities
  • We have supported farmers in the northern part of Zululand negatively affected by veld fires through the provision of grant funding towards the purchasing of animal feed
  • We have supported rural schools affected by windstorms and veld fires to renovate damaged classrooms and replace equipment

SASA has a proud history of corporate social investment, in the fight against poverty and underdevelopment within rural sugar cane growing communities.

SASA Values

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People-Centred Leadership

Organisation Character

Customer-Focused Performance

People-Centred Leadership

Customer-Focused Performance

Organisation Character