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    Sunday, 31 July 2016

    Government regards Tongaat as strategic - Minister


    – Government regards the sugar industry as strategic to both the economy and the country and it is keeping a close eye on political developments that may have a negative effect on this sector.
    This was said by the Minister of Industry and Commerce Mike Bimha during a tour of Tongaat Hulett operations at Triangle and Hippo Valley Estates on Saturday last week.
    He said Government through his Ministry took the sugar industry as a strategic sector whose contribution to the country and the region is immeasurable.
    He said his Ministry hopes to take care of the political side which may affect the sugar industry since Government is highly committed to see the industry grow to higher levels.
    He urged other Cabinet Ministers to visit Tongaat and see for themselves the good work that the company is doing before formulating policies.
    The visit saw leaders in the sugar sector joining in the tour and Tongaat Sydney Mtsambiwa who is said to be on holiday was represented by Aiden Mhere who is Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe Commercial Director.
    Bimha's statement comes soon after President Mugabe ordered the reversal of the takeover of 4 000 hectares of sugarcane estate from Tongaat by the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement and the office of the Minister of State for Masvingo. These were parcelled out to 221 farmers but the development was going to result in 2 000 workers being retrenched.
    "As Government and also as a Ministry we really take the sugar industry as a strategic sector hence we also have to keep close attention to the goings-on in the industry.
    "It is Government`s desire to see the sugar industry grow and be able to make that contribution not only to Zimbabwe but to the region and beyond. Of course being so strategic it also sometimes succumb to political pressure and we have to take care of that, we want to create employment" said Bimha.
    Zimbabwe Sugar Association Chairperson Muchadeyi Masunda said stakeholders in the sugar industry hoped to hold an Indaba for all stakeholders inorder to come up with a single portion in the interest of the sector and the country.
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