Unrest in South Africa: Sugar industry one of the most affected sectors

Many sectors have been impacted in South Africa after a wave of violent protests against the incarceration of former President Jacob Zuma grips the country.

The sugarcane farmers and sugar industry are one of the most affected due to the ongoing unrest, said the industry officials.

The riots began after the government jailed former president Jacob Zuma last week.

Christo Van der Rheede, executive director at the country’s main agricultural body AgriSA, said, “Farmers are facing major losses as they cannot transport their products to the markets from fields.”

The hardest-hit region is the Kwazulu-Natal- the main sugar growing area where all the sugar mills have stopped operating after the cane carrying trucks were hijacked. Thomas Funke, Chief Executive, South African Canegrowers said that the mills have been threatened.

The rioters have burnt around 300,000 tonnes of cane affected revenue worth R180 million, he said.
The mills and refinery have been closed, informed the sugar producer Tongaat Hulett.

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