SASA sets aside 76500 hectares for land reform
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.
‘CATALYST’: The South African Sugar Association says it has made steady gains to keep up with SA’s land reform and rural development objectives.