Economic Footprint of the Sugar Industry

Sugar is one of southern Africa’s main agricultural crops. For example, in South Africa, sugar’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated at R14 billion. The sugar industry is a major employer in sugar-growing areas like KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.

The industry provides significant employment, mostly in job-starved rural areas and has a major impact on the economies of rural towns. The sugar industry in South Africa employs 80 000 people directly, and indirectly provides work for a further 350 000 people. It is estimated that more than 1,000, 000 South Africans are dependent on the sugar industry for their family’s livelihood.


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