Parliament– The Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry welcomes the gazetting of the Sugar Industry Regulations on transitional arrangements in terms of the Constitution of the South African Sugar Association (Sasa) and the Sugar Industry Agreement. The regulations were gazetted on 9 October 2018.
The committee met with the Sasa and South African Farmers Development Agency (Safda) yesterday to be briefed on transitional arrangements with respect to incorporating Safda into Sasa and to discuss sugar tariffs.
The committee noted that this is a step in the right direction for the industry, particularly black small-scale farmers. Committee Chairperson MsJoanmariaeFubbs said that the committee will continue to play its oversight role over the sugar industry to ensure meaningful transformation.
In terms of sugar tariffs, this follows a decision by the International Trade and Administration Commission (ITAC) to increase sugar import tariffs to a dollar-based reference price (DBRP) of US$680 (approximately R9 970) following an application to that effect by Sasa. Both Sasa and Safda welcomed this tariff, as it will alleviate the domestic sugar market’s loses.
However, Sasa is concerned that the tariff is lower than requested, while Safda is concerned that the tariff will not do much to alleviate the loses of small-scale farmers. In addition, Safda noted that the tariff increase should be complemented by other interventions/programmes that support small-scale farmers.
MsFubbs said the positive progress comes partly because of the intervention last year by the committee to call the parties to Parliament to discuss the matters jointly. “Furthermore, the committee held several regular follow-up engagements with the relevant stakeholders to ensure and monitor the speed of progress. The committee deems the regulations critical for the transformation of the sector,” she said.
Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa