MEC Zikalala applauds transformation efforts in the Sugarcane Industry
The MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Sihle Zikalala has hailed Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry for taking a giant step towards the transformation of the sugarcane industry.
This follows the Committee’s call yesterday for the South African Farmers Development Association (Safda) to be recognised by the South African Sugar Association (Sasa) and the South African Cane Growers’ Association (Sacga).
Welcoming the Committee’s decision, Zikalala said the move brought hope that South Africa would soon have a completely transformed sugar cane industry as Safda represented the interests of small scale black farmers within the sugarcane industry.
We are happy that the Committee has tasked the Department of Trade and Industry with amending the Sugar Act of 1978 such that it includes even bodies such as Safda which were previously not represented. We have always maintained as KwaZulu-Natal that the recognition of Safda will go a long way in ensuring that the sugarcane industry is transformed and that we have sustainable economic activity among previously disadvantaged groupings in our province, Zikalala added.
Zikalala said the provincial government was pressing ahead with its radical agrarian socio economic transformation (RASET) programme which was aimed at empowering Black Africans to create their own wealth in order to provide jobs, eradicate poverty and redress economic imbalances.
As part of empowering Black emerging sugarcane producers, Zikalala said, the provincial government had partnered with Tongaat-Hulett Sugar South Africa Limited to support small scale growers in various parts of the province such as Felixton, Darnall, Amatikulu and Maidstone.
We have set aside over R50-million for this programme which will see more Black and African farmers as well as producers playing an integral role in the sugarcane sector. The project aims to plant 3 000 hectares of land and to create an estimated 1 100 jobs.
Source: Government of South Africa