President Cyril Ramaphosa has been criticised for failing to address the “perilous” state of the South African sugar industry, which producers say is on the verge of collapse. The crisis is due to several headwinds, including a drop in sales volumes, falling prices and stiff competition from cheap imports mainly from Brazil. The local sugar industry generates an income of about R14bn a year and is responsible for at least 350,000 jobs. Graeme Stainbank, the chair of the South African Cane Growers' Association, warned on Monday that without government support thousands of jobs in the sector were at risk “In his state of the nation address, President Cyril Ramaphosa was very clear on the need to develop agriculture for the benefit of all. However, inexplicably, he said sweet nothing about the perilous state of the sugar sector,” Stainbank said. Stainbank said rural communities where little employment opportunities exist, will be hard hit by the possible jobs bloodbath in the sector. “...

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