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The bitter story of South African sugar

02 August 2015


Killie Campbell Library

Killie Campbell Library

By Grethe Koen

SA’s sugar history was born out of rampant colonialism, indentured labour and massive profit. Grethe Koen investigates the history of a sweet, woody cane that would come to change SA and the world.

It’s fair to say that without sugar, Durban would not exist in the form we know it today. The bustling, coastal metropolis owes much of its development to a woody, sweet cane that bred a R12 billion industry, with giants such as Tongaat Hulett, Illovo and Crookes Brothers owning the lion’s share of the market.

Sugar did exist in South Africa before British colonists settled here. Although it is unclear what varietal it was, it certainly wasn’t the sugar cane we know and consume today.

Read the full article from channel24.

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