The focus of this study is on the South African sugar industry (its existence based on sugarcane production) which is in need of further adjustment and evolution in order to survive, grow, develop market share, and be competitive on world markets, which remain unique and complex. Alternative options must be investigated to escape an archaic model for value-addition, while shielding the industry in a global market, which is widely recognized as distorted. The South Africa sugar industry has become stagnant, while struggling to keep head above water in the face of erratic droughts, relatively low world sugar prices, cheap sugar imports from mainly Brazil, access to markets with preferential prices denied or extremely limited, land reform and consequent investment uncertainties, infrastructure constraints affecting new market development further up north, drastic increases in minimum wages and other production factors, and a decreasing share in the SACU market, while other African sugar industries are slowly making progress (thus becoming more competitive). World prices for raw sugar remain below average world production costs. Even though South Africa ranks among the top producers in terms of production costs, South African exports (about half of annual production) have to be sold at a loss on these world markets. South African sugar companies are investing outside the country, where most profits are made, due to lower production costs and premium prices earned with exports to the EU. Sugar remains a sensitive product used for political leverage. Between 2000 and 2012, the number of large-scale producers dropped by 20 percent, while the number of small-scale producers declined by 47 percent. The overall area under cane decreased by 13 percent (USDA, 2012). Consensus exists that between 1987 and 2007, the prices of nearly all major agricultural commodities declined in real terms (Grynberg et al, 2007). In light of these challenges, the South Africa sugar industry must forge ahead evaluating alternative options to break away from its dependency on what could be considered an outdated model for value-addition, while protecting the industry. Growing the industry would require more responsive protection in the form of tariffs; market access to higher-priced markets (specifically the EU) but highly unlikely; unlocking value by means of ethanol production (also very unlikely); and cogeneration (more likely). Should regional infrastructural development improve, sugar sales could be viable in new, growing African markets. Should FTAs be signed with African countries, risk of damage to the South African sugar industry would increase, if no special safeguards are in place.