SASA sets aside 76500 hectares for land re­form

African Times - - Business - AYANDA MD­LULI

AL­THOUGH mired in is­sues re­lat­ing to its lack of trans­for­ma­tion tar­iff im­ports that have threat­ened the fu­ture eco­nomic out­look of in­dus­try, the South African Sugar As­so­ci­a­tion says it has made steady gains in en­sur­ing that it keeps up with SA’s land re­form and ru­ral de­vel­op­ment ob­jec­tives.

In a pre­sen­ta­tion last week, Trix Trikam, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the South African Sugar As­so­ci­a­tion (SASA) said that the to­tal num­ber of hectares that had been trans­ferred to date for land re­form pur­poses by the sugar in­dus­try in South Africa had to­talled to more than 76500 ha.

Fur­ther­more, R2.3 bil­lion had been spent on ac­quir­ing resti­tu­tion farms at an av­er­age price of

5 000 ha in 231 com­mu­nal prop­erty in­sti­tu­tions.

Cur­rently, there are about 2 400 small grow­ers oc­cu­py­ing com­mu­nal land.

Ac­cord­ing to Trikam, this is key to en­sur­ing that there is a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment on liveli­hoods in ru­ral ar­eas.

“De­vel­op­ing and fi­nanc­ing small grow­ers’ goes a long way in en­sur­ing food se­cu­rity, job cre­ation, ba­sic ser­vices pro­vi­sion and in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment. The sug­ar­cane in­dus­try has be­come a cat­a­lyst for ru­ral eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Trikam, in or­der to con­tinue meet­ing SA’s land re­form and ru­ral de­vel­op­ment ob­jec­tives, SASA had to de­velop a ru­ral de­vel­op­ment model that was cen­tred on ba­sic ser­vices, sus­tain­able sugar cane de­vel­op­ment, live stock, cash crops as well as peo­ple de­vel­op­ment.

“This model was put in place to en­sure that re­sults are achieved through the im­ple­men­ta­tion of sus­tain­able pro­duc­tion mod­els, pro­duc­tion sup­port as well as en­ter­prise de­vel­op­ment among other ob­jec­tives.”

Trikam said it was also im­por­tant to high­light that this ru­ral de­vel­op­ment model would also en­sure youth de­vel­op­ment, train­ing and skills de­vel­op­ment, co-op­er­a­tives sup­port as well as the pro­vi­sion of ba­sic ser­vices and ameni­ties to ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

Some of the ar­eas that have seen suc­cess through SASA’s in­te­grated de­vel­op­ment projects in­clude Glen­dale Val­ley in KwaDukuza.

Ac­cord­ing to Trikam, this de­vel­op­ment has been driven by lo­cal com­mu­nal lead­er­ship in part­ner­ship with the com­mu­nity.

“We took a holis­tic ap­proach with sugar cane with sugar cane pri­mary crop. It has five ha un­der cash crops, with elec­tri­fi­ca­tion and hous­ing un­der­way.

About R57 mil­lion has been pumped into the lo­cal econ­omy, with 59 per­ma­nent and 620 sea­sonal jobs be­ing cre­ated.”

Another in­te­grated project, Mngam­pondo in the Mlalazi area was launched in 2015 and has a to­tal of 110 ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

“A to­tal of 200 ha have been set aside for sugar cane de­vel­op­ment in the re­gon. Fur­ther­more, the ar­eas food se­cu­rity project was launched in 2016 and has a to­tal of 67 project mem­bers,” said Trikam.

Pic­ture: Den­vor de Wee Vis­ual Buzz SA

‘CAT­A­LYST’: The South African Sugar As­so­ci­a­tion says it has made steady gains to keep up with SA’s land re­form and ru­ral de­vel­op­ment ob­jec­tives.

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