July 25 2018
SUGAR INDUSTRY MARCHES OVER IMPORTS FLOODING COUNTRY
In an unprecedented move, hundreds of sugarcane farmers (growers) from KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga will march to the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) tomorrow (26 June 2018) in Tshwane voicing their grave concerns about the grossly insufficient tariff which threatens job losses and puts the sustainability of the sugar industry at risk! At least 1 600 growers and industry leaders will take part in the peaceful march. The country’s sugar industry, which is represented by the South African Sugar Association (SASA), is on a brink of collapse due to the influx of imports as a result of low duty which currently stands at $566 per ton. This has resulted in a big loss of local South African market share. Approximately 25% of the total market has been overtaken by foreign sugar, and the industry revenue has declined by R2.3 billion. This is akin to exporting jobs to other countries. If this crisis is not arrested soon, the industry could collapse, leading to job losses in an industry which currently employs 85 000 with one million people dependent on the cane growing and milling activities of the industry. Therefore, SASA has asked government for an urgent intervention in the form of increasing the reference price (tariff) to an adequate level of $856 per ton.
Details of the march are as follows:
Date: 26 June 2018
Starting Point: Pretoria Art Museum (on Park Street) at 10am
End Point: the dti Campus (in Meintjies Street) at 12.30pm