November 4 2022.
SA Canegrowers’ Industrial Affairs Manager, Dr Muhammad Kadwa was elected President of the South African Sugar Technologist’s Association (SASTA) yesterday at the organisation’s headquarters at Mount Edgecombe outside Durban.
Dr Kadwa has served as a SASTA Councillor since 2016 and as the Industrial Affairs Manager at SA Canegrowers since 2018.
SA Canegrowers CEO, Dr Thomas Funke described Dr Kadwa’s election as “extremely exciting” particularly as he is one of the youngest in the organisation’s 96-year history to take up the position. “We believe he will do a great job and will take the organisation to new heights,” Funke said.
Dr Kadwa takes up the SASTA headship following the stepping down of Shaun Madho – Illovo Sugar Process Support Specialist – who served as president for three years.
“This appointment is both an honour and a privilege. Research is my passion. I hold a strong belief that no industry can move forward without ongoing research and the exchanging of ideas between industry stakeholders.” Kadwa said.
And with the current crisis in the sugar industry in mind, Kadwa said he wanted to bring people together from all sectors of the sugar industry. “For the future success of the industry we have to all work together,” he said.
And while he wished to bring in some fresh ideas, Kadwa said he aimed to continue to promote the stability of the industry, the growth of SASTA membership supported by the organisation’s strong council and 500 members.
Kadwa was one of the first pupils to matriculate at Durban’s prestigious Clifton College from where he went on to study at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Agriculture and Agricultural Economics, a Master’s degree in Bioresource Systems cum laude which was converted to a PhD before concluding his doctorate in industrial engineering.
He was first appointed as an Agricultural Economist at the Department of Agriculture in Pietermaritzburg before taking up a position at SA Canegrowers as an Area Manager at Umzimkulu in southern KwaZulu-Natal in 2015.
“My first experience of SASTA was as a Masters student in 2012,” Kadwa said. “Under the guidance of the renowned Professor Carel Bezuidenhout, I presented my research findings on supply chain disruptions at the Eston Mill at the annual SASTA Congress. I owe him a debt of gratitude,” he added.
In 2016, Kadwa was elected to the SASTA Council before taking up the role of treasurer in 2018. “There are so many people I need to thank for where I am today,” he said.
SASTA is a voluntary, non-profit, organisation with over 500 members. It was established in 1926 to:
• Promote the interchange of scientific knowledge of, and the discussion and investigation of technical problems related to, the production and processing of sugarcane products;
• Promote the improvement in the accuracy and rational standardisation of methods of factory chemical control;
• Encourage and assist in the improvement of the technical knowledge of persons engaged in the South African Sugar Industry;
• Encourage research into all aspects of sugarcane agriculture, sugar milling practice and ancillary fields.
The business of SASTA is carried out by SASTA Council.