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Director-General October Receives Award from South African Farmers Development Association

The Director-General of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), Mr Lionel October has received an award from the South African Farmers Development Association (Safda) for the Department of Trade and Industry’s (the dti) outstanding support and contribution to the development of black small and medium scale farmers and for the commitment shown to the resolution of the sugar industry impasse.  

The award comes in the wake of a signed Draft Agreement of Cooperation between Safda, South African Sugar Association (Sasa) and the South African Cane Growers Association (Sacga) and proposed amendments to the sugar industry regulations.  

According to October, the aggrieved Safda had presented their case before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry with concerns regarding not being recognised by Sasa and Sacga. Their main concern centred around the sugar industry not recognising it as an independent cane growers association representing mainly the land reform beneficiaries and majority black cane farmers in the sugar sector. He said that the dti has worked tirelessly since 2015 to ensure the resolution of the impasse that has been prevailing in the sugar industry.

the dti appeared before the Portfolio Committee last year with regards to the on-going dispute between Safda, Sasa, and Sacga and was mandated by the Portfolio Committee to find a speedy resolution to the impasse. Consequently, the dti participated in the mediation process that resulted in the Draft Agreement of Cooperation signed in December 2017, proposed amendments to the sugar industry regulations and a proposed new structure to serve as umbrella body for the sugar cane farmers.  This necessitated the amendments to the Sasa Constitution and the Sugar Industry Agreement (sugar industry regulations),” said October.

October added that the dti’s intervention was aimed at addressing issues and to emphasise the importance of economic transformation in the sugar industry. Specifically, the importance of recognising black players in this industry, stating that the present status quo cannot be allowed to continue.

“The new developments provide an opportunity for small-scale farmers to make a substantial contribution to the economy,” said October.

October added that the intervention of the dti and the Portfolio Committee also resulted in the three organisation finding each other and committing to work together.

“Safda is now rightly positioned to address concerns of small and medium players in the industry, and drive aggressive socio-economic development programmes that will benefit current and future members,” said October.

  DG Lionel October with an award he received from the South African Farmers Development Association (Safda) for the dti’s outstanding work

Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade and Industry
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