SA’s sugar industry struggles to recover

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The country’s sugar industry is struggling to recover and plans to resuscitate the sector have yet to yield results.

In 2021, government announced a sugar Master plan.

Annual sugar production in the last 20 years has declined nearly 25% from 2.75 million to 2.1 million tons per annum.

The number of sugar cane farmers has also fall by 60% during the same period resulting in a 45% decrease in jobs in the sector.

The CEO of the SA Cane Growers Thomas Funke was speaking at the Proudly SA summit and expo at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg

“On the negative side, however, we’ve had Tonga, Hewlett sugar go into business rescue. That’s common knowledge, everyone’s aware of it. And it’s proving very difficult to work with the company in business rescue. They are far behind on payments to the industry, which is putting everyone including all the small-scale growers in an extremely difficult situation. And that’s also filtering into the marketplace.”