SA Canegrowers Association seeks intervention as Gledhow enters business rescue

Gledhow was among the hardest hit companies when KwaZulu-Natal was hit by social unrest in 2021 and the heavy floods in 2022.


JOHANNESBURG - The South African Canegrowers Association said there is a need for urgent intervention in the sugar industry as the crisis within the sector deepens.

This follows the announcement by sugar company Gledhow that it would be entering into voluntary business rescue as it was financially distressed.

Gledhow was among the hardest hit companies in 2021, when KwaZulu-Natal was hit by social unrest, leading to the closure of its factory.

The association said that over 245 growers supplying the company faced uncertainty after the announcement.

Gledhow, which comprises Ushukela Milling, Illovo Sugar and Sappi Southern Africa Limited, said that it had battled to recover from the catastrophic floods last year and the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Another sugar company, Tongaat-Hulett, went into business rescue in October last year, leaving close to 15,000 sugarcane growers unpaid.

The association's chairperson Andrew Russell said that growers faced uncertainty.

"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," he said.

He said that the association was talking to the South African Sugar Association to help support the growers that would be affected.