South African Sugar Farmers

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I was in South Africa visiting my family when I received an invitation to spend a few days at the sugar farm of friends of my family. They were in a rush to get the crop in before the nearby Sezela mill shut for the Christmas break, so the place was a hive of activity.

The workers are mostly rural Pondo tribesmen from the Cape Province who are regarded as some of the best professional farm workers in South Africa. They come from their own rural farms to work a fixed contract with the farmer, usually staying in hostiles located on the farm.

Since the Natal cane fields are located in steep rolling hills that make it difficult to use automated farm equipment, the cane is all cut by hand. Sometimes the cane is burned to clear off the leafy parts of cane.

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Newspaper Photojournalism
South Africa 1994-1996