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Special committee to light up KZN cannabis industry

Suthentira Govender Senior reporter
Development of the cannabis industry in KwaZulu-Natal is set to take off with the establishment of a special committee to oversee it. Stock photo.
Development of the cannabis industry in KwaZulu-Natal is set to take off with the establishment of a special committee to oversee it. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF

A special committee will be established to take the development of KwaZulu-Natal's cannabis industry to new highs.

Premier Sihle Zikalala made the announcement at a provincial executive council meeting on Wednesday.

The decision comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced during the state of the nation address that KwaZulu-Natal will “lead in this new frontier of economic development”, said Zikalala.

“The potential for the cannabis/hemp industry is estimated at more than R28bn in SA, with potential to create between 10,000 and 20,000 job opportunities across the value chain.

“The establishment of the cannabis industry will lead to the diversification of the economy, create jobs, increase economic growth and contribute to poverty alleviation.”

The committee will be responsible for growing the industry by ensuring adherence to regulatory systems, seed supply systems, research and technology development.

It will drive sustainable producer systems, market development supplier development systems, manufacturing and product development, education and training, communication and awareness.

Relief for businesses affected by July unrest

The executive council also announced that 500 rural and township shops affected by the riots and looting in July last year would receive relief to the value of R10m.

“The provincial government has approved an intervention aimed at providing a relief grant for rural and township shops affected by the looting and unrest.

“The grant is an amount of up to R20,000 per shop and will assist more than 500 shops with trading stock, excluding alcohol and related products.

“The funding addresses the challenges faced by rural and township businesses which were affected but were left out due to underreporting during the July mayhem.”

TimesLIVE

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