Sugarcane industry reeling after massive losses due to KZN violence

The South African Canegrowers Association said KwaZulu-Natal was not only ground zero for the violent riots, but also the heart of South Africa's sugar industry.

FILE: Damage to the sector has been put at 353,000 tonnes of sugarcane, that's been lost to arson attacks.  Picture: Pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN - The South African Canegrowers Association has called on government to declare a state of emergency as violence and destruction escalates in cane growing areas.

READ MORE: Fuel, bread in short supply in eThekwini as long-term impact of riots hit home

The association on Wednesday said KwaZulu-Natal was not only ground zero for the violent riots, but also the heart of South Africa's sugar industry.

It said the violence and destruction came in the middle of harvesting season and had caused irrecoverable losses to cane growers and workers.

Damage to the sector has been put at 353,000 tons of sugarcane that's been lost to arson attacks.

At R600 per ton, this equated to a revenue loss of more than R211 million.

The association said millers have been equally devastated as all sugar mills in KwaZulu-Natal had been forced to cease operations.

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