ROYAL Swaziland Sugar Corporation (RSSC) Managing Director Nick Jackson has also disputed the ITUC workers rights violation report findings.
ITUC is the International Trade Union Congress.
In a report compiled by the ITUC dated October 2016, titled ‘Workers Rights and Land Confiscation in Swaziland’s Sugar Sector,’ the congress said despite the substantial contribution of the industry to the local economy, ‘workers employed in the sugar industry, the sector has no such lustre; instead, workers live in extreme poverty despite working for long hours.’
Speaking during a media tour at Simunye sugar factory last Friday, Jackson said these findings were absurd.
He said growers had 50 per cent representation, “millers and growers have equal representation and decisions are made on mutual consensus.”
He said Coca-Cola came before that report to conduct an analysis of almost the same elements.
“They interviewed employees and went to meet out-growers and they were happy with the findings,” he said.
The findings of the same report were also disputed by the Swaziland Sugar Association saying these were adverse, baseless, without merit and completely distort the prevailing conditions in the Swazi sugar industry.
SSA Chief Executive Officer Phil Mnisi said it was unfortunate that the report has the potential to cause harm to the good reputation of the Swazi sugar sector both locally and globally.
He further warned the industry stakeholder to read the report with maximum caution.
Meanwhile, Jackson said they had developed good interpersonal relations with their employees.
The company has about 1 900 permanent and about 2 500 seasonal employees.
He said they had introduced a programme where he visits workers for an interaction talk with them.
On another note, Jackson said as sugar consumption was showing a declining trend in the Euro region against Africa’s increasing population and anticipated consumption growth the Euro market was getting less attractive while regional markets were becoming more attractive.
“The African market is the fast growing market, therefore we will move from Europe to Africa, but at the moment the European market is still quite good,” he said.