Hundreds of sugar cane farmers from KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga provinces will on Tuesday march to the department of trade and industry in Tshwane.

PRETORIA - Hundreds of sugar cane farmers from KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga provinces will on Tuesday march to the department of trade and industry (dti) in Tshwane demanding that a tariff on sugar be reinstated to protect the domestic industry from cheap imports. 

The South African Sugar Association (SASA) said at least 1,600 cane growers and industry leaders would take part in the march and the opposition  Democratic Alliance said it would also participate.

SASA said the sugar industry was on the brink of collapse due to an influx of imports as a result of low duty which currently stands at U.S.$566 per ton.

It urged the government to increase the tariff to U.S.$856 per ton.

"Approximately 25 percent of the total market has been overtaken by foreign sugar, and the industry revenue has declined by R2.3 billion," SASA said in a statement. "This is taking exporting jobs to other countries."

It warned a collapse of the industry if the situation was not addressed soon could lead to job losses in a sector that employs 85,000 people. 

- African News Agency (ANA)