Yesterday, the ANC Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee for Trade & Industry, through a Parliamentary statement, confirmed it will not lift a finger to hold a special portfolio committee meeting for it to decisively intervene in the impending collapse of the sugar cane industry, after I formally wrote a letter requesting it to do so.
The ANC believe it is better to rather make mention of the imbedding crisis in its Legacy Report and outsource this problem to the 6th Parliament after the elections in May.
The ANC believe that the 350 000 workers who stand to lose their jobs, should rather wait until uncaring ANC MP’s can be bothered to find time to meet.
Today’s development is not surprising. For far too long, the failing ANC Government have dragged its feet on offering real assistance and tariff protection to sugar cane farmers against devastating droughts in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and 500 000 tons of dumped sugar which landed on our shores last year.
The fact is, the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) refused to accede to farmer, large and small scale for a Dollar Based Reference Price of $856 per ton which would have at least allowed sugar farmers in South Africa to match the below cost of production of imported sugar. Instead, ITAC granted a measly $680 per ton. This continued situation is simply not sustainable for the industry.
In addition to this, R200 million for drought relief has disappeared in the KZN Provincial Government.
In the end, If this is not enough to rock the ANC from its slumber, then South Africa should vote them out. In a country where 9.4 million South Africans are unemployed, every effort should be made to save jobs.
President Ramaphosa has no hope of ever creating 275 000 jobs per year as outlined in the ANC’s manifesto when 350 000 jobs could be lost because uncaring ANC MP’s refuse to meet and find solutions to this crisis.