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    Friday, 18 March 2016

    Industrial strikes must be avoided at Tongaat


    – Last year`s strike by Tongaat Hullett workers has negatively affected the sugar industry as it has promoted imported sugar on the local market.
    Addressing hundreds of farmers at the Zimbabwe Sugarcane Development Association annual general meeting held at Mkwasine on Friday Edmore Veterai who is the chairperson of the organisation urged stakeholders to solve disputes through dialogue.
    He said the job action by Tongaat Hullett workers has left a big gap of negativity in the industry which will take a long time to fill.
    "The industrial action by the THZ workers had an effect of promoting foreign sugar into our local market since we were unable to deliver our  sugar. Foreign sugar is still visible on the market and has negatively impacted on our mill door price.
    "As a result, farmers are likely to get a negative scenario where instead of getting all positives on sweepings we get a statement of over payment. We urge all stakeholders in the sugar industry to solve disputes amicably, we are not taking sides on Tongaat Hullet job action but we are saying whenever there is dispute dialogue should be given a chance first," said Veterai.
    Addressing the same meeting, Member of Parliament for Chiredzi North Robert Mukwena also bemoaned the imports of foreign products saying they kill the local industry. He said indeginous sugarcane farmers should strive to reach the standards which were reached by white.
    "We should not talk about sugar imports only but all imports affect our local products. I urge you farmers to work hard so that you reach the levels which were reached by white farmers before you took over. Chiredzi has a booming industry as compared to other districts and it is because of you. We are working hard to bring investors who can help you to undertake capital projects," said Mukwena.
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