SASA addresses transformation funding disagreement among members

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

In response to the pressing challenges facing the South African sugar industry, the South African Sugar Association (SASA) has reaffirmed its commitment to a transformative agenda that prioritises sustainability and support for small-scale growers. SASA, which represents the industry’s interests, is actively engaging with key members, including the South African Farmers’ Development Association, the South African Cane Growers’ Association, and the South African Sugar Millers’ Association, to address these issues urgently.

As part of a comprehensive five-year transformation plan, SASA has invested over R1,12 billion in initiatives aimed at empowering black small-scale growers. With the original plan concluding in the 2023/2024 season, SASA has extended its commitment with an additional allocation of R238,9 million for the 2024/2025 season.

Furthermore, SASA has implemented a Premium Price Payment (PPP) scheme, disbursing a minimum of R60 million to small-scale growers over three seasons, culminating in R68 051 340 for the 2023/2024 season. Recognising the ongoing need for support, the SASA council has approved an extension of the PPP into the 2024/2025 season, with an adjusted allocation of R72 527 776 to account for inflation.

Read more about transformation in the sugar industry here.

A shared vision for the future

SASA is currently spearheading the “Reimagined Cane Industry Strategy”, a forward-thinking approach that hinges on diversification and transformation to secure the long-term sustainability of the industry. “We are going to be leveraging phase 2 of the Industry Master Plan to achieve the objectives of the ‘Reimagined Cane Industry Strategy’. As SASA, we remain fully committed to advancing meaningful transformation and sustainability throughout the value chain.”

Advocate Fay Mukaddam, independent chairperson of SASA, has issued a call to action for industry leaders to unite and collaborate towards a shared vision for the future. “We must set aside our differences and prioritise the industry’s interests, with a special focus on the well-being of our growers,” Mukaddam emphasised, highlighting the collective effort required to navigate the industry through its current challenges and towards a prosperous future. – South African Sugar Association

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