SAFDA becomes a permanent member of the sugar industry

In a significant turn for the South African sugar industry, the South African Farmers’ Development Association (SAFDA) has become a permanent member of the sugar industry.

SAFDA becomes a permanent member of the sugar industry
SAFDA leadership, from left: CEO Thandokwakhe Sibiya, head of diversification Dr Marilyn Govender, head of financial services Andile Buthelezi, head of development finance and project management Anwhar Madhanpall, executive chairperson Dr Siyabonga Madlala, deputy chairperson Lindiwe Hlubi, consultant Gordon Spalding, logistics manager Muziwandile Dlamini, head of grower development Sfiso Mnguni, and chief financial officer Mduduzi Dube.
Photo: Supplied
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In celebration of the gazetting of the sugar industry regulations that affirm SAFDA as a permanent member of the industry, SAFDA was joined by Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza and Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel at a sugar regulations imbizo in Gingindlovu, KwaZulu-Natal recently.

On 28 March, the South African sugar industry marked a crucial breakthrough towards transformation and inclusivity when the transitional provisions outlined in the Sugar Industry Agreement of 2000 and the Constitution, initially introduced in 2020, were officially made permanent through Gazette No. 50415.

These pivotal provisions, along with those outlined in the government notice, signify a substantial shift towards the inclusion of black small-scale growers in the sugar industry through representation by SAFDA.

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Dr Siyabonga Madlala, executive chairperson of SAFDA, was thrilled by the development.

“This development marks the culmination of a long and arduous journey that commenced in 2015 with the formation of SAFDA. The gazetting of the regulations signifies a major milestone in the organisation’s journey towards achieving greater equity and representation within the sugar industry, granting black farmers the dignity and full recognition they deserved as integral members of the vital sector.”

Madlala also commended members of the portfolio committee on Trade, Industry and Competition for their exemplary leadership and dedication throughout the undertaking.

“Their guidance and collaboration have been indispensable in shaping the transformational regulatory framework that will govern the industry moving forward. Furthermore, we express our sincere appreciation to the leadership and executives of the sugar industry for their invaluable contributions to the technical process and their proactive embrace of change. Their expertise and co-operation have been vital in facilitating a smooth transition towards a more sustainable and inclusive industry,” said Madlala.

The South African Sugar Association (SASA) welcomed the government’s gazette rendering SAFDA a permanent member of the South African sugar industry.

“This is a historic development which we embrace and support fully. We wish to thank Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, his sectoral adviser Harald Harvey and his entire team for this remarkable moment. The sugar industry remains committed to transformation, and congratulates SAFDA on the permanent recognition. We look forward to continuing to work together to ensure the growth, success and sustainability of the industry,” said Advocate Fay Mukaddam, independent chairperson of SASA.

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Jyothi Laldas is an accomplished journalist with 15 years of experience in the news media industry. She has established herself as a respected voice in the field, known for her keen insights and passion for storytelling. Jyothi grew up on a farm in rural KwaZulu-Natal, a background that instilled in her a deep appreciation for hard work and the importance of community. Her passion for writing and learning about people has been a driving force throughout her career, enabling her to connect with her audience and bring important stories to light. Jyothi‘s journalistic journey has been marked by her dedication to providing accurate and impactful reporting on a range of topics.