MZANSI really LOVES sugar!

We put sugar in everything. It makes food sweeter and tastier, but where does it come from?

Illovo Sugar South Africa, our largest sugar producer, not only makes sure we don’t run out of sugar but it is also committed to building sustainable enterprises in rural communities where it operates

According to Mamongae Mahlare, Illovo Sugar’s managing director, in the financial year that ended in 2017, they added R9,6 billion to the economy. This was mostly made up of R1,4 billion produced by secondary and tertiary industries directly linked to sugar production.

Mahlare said most sugar is farmed in KZN. Sugar farming provides 3 500 with about seven extra jobs created for every sugar farm worker in their communities. This means that sugar supports about 25 000 people in rural KZN.

Illovo SA has also been working with the national treasury’s Jobs Fund initiative to provide capital for a project to develop 3 000 hectares of uncultivated land on KZN’s South Coast for small-scale cane growers.

“This will see fields developed into sugar cane farms owned and operated by the community.

“The three-year farming project has helped generate employment opportunities for communities, which includes secondary activities linked to crop care, crop removal and logistics.”

Mahlare said this initiative reaches about 2 000 small growers and generates up to R68 million a year in rural economies. It creates about 1 100 jobs in areas where the project is implemented.

The company’s own land reform programme has seen it sell 28 000 hectares of land to people to promote productivity and sustainability of the redistributed land.

“We redistributed about 55% of our original land portfolio, which has helped establish more than 50 black commercial farmers.

“We also provide extensive technical and financial support and management to small-scale growers,” she said.