Agri mourns the death of the sugar industry’s leading lady, Judith Wilson

The South African Sugar Association (SASA) says it mourns the passing of Judith Wilson, a key player in developing the master plan to ensure the stability, growth and sustainability of the industry.

Wilson died of a suspected heart attack on Thursday, August 11 – just 17 days before she was due to compete in the Comrades’ Marathon. The Sugarcane Value Chain Master Plan was signed virtually in November 2020.

Among other roles, the late Judith Wilson monitored the demand for South African sugar in the Southern African Customs Union market and managed the export of surplus sugar to that requirement. Photo: Supplied/SASA

SASA’s commercial director for eight years, Wilson was responsible for monitoring demand for South African sugar in the five countries represented by the Southern African Customs Union market, as well as managing the export of surplus sugar.

She has also played an oversight role over certain legislative functions that SASA performs on behalf of the sugar industry.

“An immortal legacy in the industry”

Paying tribute to his beloved friend and colleague, Trix Trikam, Executive Director of SASA, says he will remember Wilson as a much loved and valued member of the management team.

“She was in charge of the very important master plan for the sugarcane value chain until 2030. She propelled the sugar terminal to unparalleled heights of success.

“She took over the Shukela Training Center during the devastating times of Covid-19, but managed to steer the ship in the right direction,” says Triakam.

According to him, Wilson has garnered the utmost admiration, trust and respect from members of the sugar industry and external stakeholders, including several government departments.

Trikam says he will remember Wilson as “a consummate professional, oozing with unfeigned humility, Judith immortalized her legacy in the industry.”

Judith is survived by her husband, Sean, their 13 year old son, Ben, her father Tony Barrington and her sister, Sarah Roberts.

In a recent interview with Food For Mzansi, Wilson joked that her family often made fun of her for being what she considered an overqualified horticulturist because she has a master’s degree in horticulture.

A memorial service in Wilson’s honor will be held on Friday August 19, 2022 in Durban to celebrate his life and contribution to the sugar industry. Wilson’s family has requested that friends and colleagues join them at the service which will be held at the Sugar Associations headquarters.

Members of the South African Sugar Association with its late commercial director Judith Wilson at a previous industry meeting.  Photo: Supplied/SASA
Members of the South African Sugar Association with its late commercial director Judith Wilson at a previous industry meeting. Photo: Supplied/SASA

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Rachel J. Bradford