SA Canegrowers fully supports the recent decision taken at a meeting of the South African Sugar Association (SASA) council to allocate R43 million towards top-up payments for black small-scale sugarcane growers for the remainder of the 2020/21 season. This is to assist small-scale growers who have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the national lockdown over the past few months.

This R43 million top-up is over and above R157 million that has already been disbursed for black grower support and development programmes during the current financial year.

The R43 million will be allocated across two current black sugarcane grower support programmes:

  • R27 million (63,1%) will be allocated to Intervention 1, which provides grant funding for growers delivering under 1 800 tons of cane.
  • R16 million (36,84%) will be allocated to Intervention 2, which provides grant funding to black growers delivering above 1 800 tons of cane.

This increase in funding will result in black growers qualifying for Intervention 1 receiving R35,95 per ton of cane delivered (an increase from R24,79 per ton) and increases across the following bands under Intervention 2:

SA Canegrowers have long recognised the foundational role small-scale growers play in the sugar industry value chain. It is imperative we do what we can to protect the livelihoods of the thousands of black growers who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We also remain committed to working with national government and our industry counterparts over the coming months to develop a comprehensive plan to support small-scale growers under the recently finalised Sugar Industry Masterplan. – Press release, SA Canegrowers