A shift in mindset is needed by both the government and business if South Africa’s sugar industry is to continue to grow while truly transforming. Our local sugar industry faces a myriad of challenges, many of which are out of its control. Drought conditions as a result of climate change, a lower world market sugar price, and the flooding of more sugar imports into our local market has resulted in a disappointing performance over the past few years. This has — in the main — adversely affected black sugarcane farmers, with the small-scale and land-reform black farmer being the most impacted. Other factors, such as the introduction of the Health Promotion Levy which spurred local beverage manufacturers to accelerate the rates of reformulation to reduce sugar content in sugar-sweetened beverages to mitigate the impact of the tax on their businesses. Through the reformulations, local demand for sugar has consequently declined with an adverse impact on associated businesses. Because of i...

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