The season began with a self-funding model in line with a signed agreement with the South African Farmers Development Association relating to new industry regulations. However, this all changed in October 2018, with the gazetting of Transitional Arrangements by the Department of Trade and Industry, when the costs of SA Canegrowers (along with the SA Millers Association and SAFDA) were included as industry costs. This resultant uncertainty on the collection of funds meant some projects were delayed until later in the season once we had gained clarity on the issue. The season ended with a surplus of R2 930 320 due mainly to the timing of projects as a result of the uncertainty linked to the collection of levies as well as staff vacancies which were filled later in the year.
SA Canegrowers prides itself on its governance structures which are depicted in the diagram (right). As a non-profit company the organisation is defined by South Africa’s Companies Act and due to its high public interest score, is required to comply with additional components of the Companies Act. Individual growers in each of the 14 mill areas across the sugarcane growing regions in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal are associated with member organisations in their local areas. These localised grower member organisations will nominate representatives each financial year who are then tasked to serve their interests at the level of the Local Grower Association. However, there are exceptions to the rule which allows for individual growers to associate directly at the Local Grower Council level. There is a Local Grower Council present in each of the 14 mill areas and these are legislated in line with the Sugar Industry Agreement. The Local Grower councils elect five representatives to the Congress of Growers on an annual basis. These Local Grower Councils are supported at their district and area level by the SA Canegrowers’ regional staff team who assist in matters of governance, economic, and technical support as well as special projects specific to each individual mill area. The Congress of Growers is responsible for the oversight of the affairs of SA Canegrowers. The five representatives from each mill area usually include two small-scale growers, two large-scale growers and a land reform grower. Issues pertinent to a local mill area are raised at this level for consideration which means the growers are heard and assisted in the areas where they farm and operate. The Congress also approves the budget for the season ahead as well as reviews this budget on a quarterly basis.
Five Congress meetings were held in the season under review and an Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held each season in June. Once the AGM is concluded a meeting is held right away to allow the Congress to elect a Board of 14 members from among their members.
The Board holds office for a two-year period. The Board met 11 times in the season under review - quarterly to oversee the affairs of SA Canegrowers and quarterly to consider the SASA Council agenda. One meeting was held in June to elect the Chairman, Vice Chairmen and Grower Nominee to SASA. There were two additional meetings in the season to consider other matters. Board members also attend the various SASA Committee meetings.
The purpose of the Audit Committee is to assist the SA Canegrowers directors to discharge their responsibility which is primarily to:
The members of the Audit Committee include:
Two audit committee meetings were held this season one on May 9, 2018 and the second on March 19, 2019.
This committee determines the salary mandate for employees, recommends remuneration of officers for approval by the Board for recommendation at the Annual General Meeting, reviews the draft budget and oversees employee policy matters, as necessary.
The members of the committee are:
Four meetings were held this season on August 6, 2018, November 7, 2018, February 4, 2019 and February 27, 2019.
The purpose of this committee is to monitor the association’s activities which relate to sustainability, ethics, empowerment and transformation. This has included the Industry Transformation plan, the SA Canegrowers’ BB-BEE Certification as well as, the Employment Equity plan.
The members of the committee are:
A workshop was held on the B-BEE Scorecard on January 16, 2019 to prepare members for the proposed industry transformation discussions scheduled during the 2018/2019 season. In addition, the Board members on this committee played a key role in the industry transformation activities that required attendance at meetings in 2018 on 11 July, 23 July, 11 September, 19 September, 1 November, 5 November and 9 November. The final industry transformation plan was presented to the Portfolio Committee for Trade and Industry on the December 5, 2018. An implementation plan meeting was then held on 7 February, 2019 with the industry transformation services provider.
This committee is responsible for the strategic positioning of the organisation in relation to stakeholder engagement and communication.
The members of the Committee are:
The second session of the stakeholder engagement workshop held on the 7 February, 2018 was finally concluded on 20 March, 2018. This was followed by a strategic communications workshop, where the importance of the communications portfolio responsibilities were deemed strategically important to the association and as such professional consultants were engaged to assist the SA Canegrowers’ communication department to meet the requirements of the Board. It was also agreed that the Chairman and Vice Chairman would take responsibility for communication with the media during this period under review. A meeting was held on the 20 February, 2019 to review the results arising from the 2018 strategic workshop directives and then to plan for the 2019/2020 financial year.
The Board is evaluated annually to consider areas for development as well as to discuss performance.
The following training was provided to Board members this season: