Su­gar sec­tor di­rectly em­ploys over 16 000

Swazi Observer - - BUSINESS - Sto­ries by Man­qoba Makhubu

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.

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