Press Statement by Andrew Russell, Chairman of SA Canegrowers
March 22, 2023
SA Canegrowers notes with grave concern the announcement that Gledhow sugar mill has been placed under business rescue. This announcement is a further signal of the sugar industry’s growing distress and the need for urgent intervention to prevent the crisis from deepening.
The Gledhow mill in Stanger, KwaZulu-Natal services more than 245 growers who produce more than 1,1 million tons of sugarcane per year – 6% of the industry’s total output. These growers employ more than 3,400 workers from surrounding communities.
The announcement follows the entry of Tongaat Hulett’s South African operations into business rescue in October 2022. This event caused an acute crisis in the industry, delays in grower payments, and uncertainty as to the future of sugar milling operations on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal.
As the new season commences on 1 April 2023, Gledhow’s supplying growers now face similar uncertainty as to whether the mill will operate normally and whether it will be able to make payment for sugarcane delivered and meet its financial obligations to the industry.
The milling operations at Gledhow are critical for the mill’s survival and for the growers in the region. SA Canegrowers is therefore engaging extensively with the mill management, the South African Sugar Association, and with its grower members. We will make every effort to support Gledhow supplying growers, and to protect the livelihoods the industry supports.