Sugar sector directly employs over 16 000
TO date, the sugar sector has directly employed over 16 000 people.
Speaking during the commemoration of the Swaziland Sugar Association (SSA) golden jubilee held on Wednesday, Tibiyo TakaNgwane Managing Director Dr. Absalom Dlamini said this was one of the most remarkable accomplishments in the sector in the past 50 years.
He said the benefits have spilled over to indirect beneficiaries including spouses, children, parents and relatives of the people employed in the value chain.
Also, Dlamini said the sugar industry has made inroads in building capacity for many Swazis to take up highly specialised positions in the sector, including at leadership and other decision making levels.
“Current estimates suggest that less than two per cent expatriates constitute the total workforce,” he said.
Following the introduction of smallholder sugarcane growers on Swazi Nation Land in the 1990s, Dlamini said there has been a notable increase in Swazis earning sustained livelihoods through participation in different areas.
“To date, we speak of 450 indigenous Swazi cane growers in the Kingdom. Of these, 122 are organised into active farmer associations or companies,” he said.
He said one of the outstanding achievements was the fact that now all sugar destined for the Southern African
Customs Union (SACU) market was done through locally based companies.
“For that, we thank the Swazi Empowerment Policy, which empowers growers and processors of Swazi sugar including pre-packers,” he said.
Dlamini also noted that the sector’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) has supported the country’s
economy even during tough times.
To date, the country’s sugar industry produces an annual average of over 600 000 tons of sugar and contributes more than 10 per cent to the country’s GDP.
It also accounts to 35 per cent of employment in the agriculture sector.
TO THE SUCCESS OF SSA: Hhohho Regional Administrator representative Sylvia Mthethwa, Tibiyo TakaNgwane MD Dr. Absalom Dlamini, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Jabulani Mabuza and Prime Minister Dr. Sibusiso Dlamini toasting to the success of SSA.