Cedric Mboyisa and Sipamandla Mpikeleli 

Sipamandla Mpikeleli is the Rural Development Manager at SASA

The multi-million rand partnership between the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and the South African Sugar Association (SASA) is on track.


Above: Illovo’s Mandla Mbelu clarifies something during one of the site visits to the sugarcane projects.

Oversight visits to projects, which fall under the partnership, on the South Coast have shown progress so far. During the term of the previous DARD MEC Cyril Xaba, the department committed R55 million to SASA towards cane development on land reform farms and for small-scale farmers. This was after in 2015, during the DARD project identification process, the sugar industry submitted and presented proposals on behalf of land reform and small scale growers. Then DARD approved an amount of R55 167 854.23 for 11 land reform and small-scale growers towards cane development, ratoon management and infrastructure development projects across the KwaZulu-Natal. The partnership was officially launched by the current DARD MEC Themba Mthembu.

The implementing agents are the millers. In the case of Sezela under Ugu District Municipality, the beneficiaries are Khoshwane, Qhubekani and Mfume/Mnini. In his presentation, SASA’s Land Reform Manager Khetha Nzimande revealed that to date, SASA had received R 55 167 854 and R 48 334 775.30 had been paid to the millers who are the Implementing Agents. Khoshwane and Qhubekani were the cooperatives which were visited during the oversight visits jointly undertaken by the industry and government. In addition, there were Masibambisane, Sakhile and Thuthukani food security garden project visits.