Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry has welcomed Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies' endorsement of the latest adjustment to tariffs on sugar.
Davies announced on Wednesday that he endorsed the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) recommendation for an increase of import duties on sugar to $680/ton.
The department highlighted the importance of sugar production in SA, saying it contributed R14bn to GDP and the industry employs 85 000 people directly, plus a further 350 000 indirectly through food processing and other sectors.
The portfolio committee was told in November last year that cheap imports were harming the local sugar industry.
Committee chair Joanmariae Fubbs said the committee had held two meetings in this year with the SA Sugar Association (SASA) and ITAC to establish the need for the tariffs.
"At this time this is the correct action, as swift steps were needed to grant urgent relief to the industry and sufficient trade protection against the huge increase in imports," said Fubbs.
The committee will have further meetings with ITAC, the Department of Trade and Industry, the National Treasury and SASA on the implementation of the sugar tariff.
The committee will also monitor the tariff adjustment to ensure that the sugar industry is regulated in a fair and equitable manner.