The South African Sugar Association (SASA) welcomes government’s decision to keep the Health Promotion Levy (HPL) unchanged for the following two fiscal years to accord the sugar industry space to pursue diversification.

The announcement was made by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana in his Budget Speech today. “We are grateful to government for acceding to our request for a moratorium on any increases to the HPL while we vigorously pursue product diversification opportunities identified during Phase 1 of the all-important Sugarcane Value Chain Master Plan to 2030,” says Trix Trikam, SASA Executive Director.

He adds: “These diversification projects have the potential to change the trajectory and performance of the industry. The HPL remaining unchanged gives us time to achieve a just transition of the sugar sector into new activities and industries.”

The industry supports 65 000 direct jobs and 270 000 indirect livelihoods in deep rural communities of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. At least one million people are dependent on the cane growing and milling activities of the industry. The HPL (sugar tax) has had a deleterious impact on the industry since its introduction in April 2018, leading to multi-billion-rand revenue loss, thousands of job losses and permanent closure of two sugar mills in KwaZulu-Natal.


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