The annual financial statements are prepared in accordance with the accounting policies which fully comply with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and are consistent with those applied in the previous year.


The consolidated financial statements include the financial statements of the company and of its subsidiaries, except those foreign subsidiaries and associates where the assessment of effective operational and financial control does not meet the criteria for consolidation in terms of IAS 27 Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements, principally as it relates to Triangle Sugar Limited in Zimbabwe. The interest in such foreign subsidiaries is included at cost less provisions and amounts written off, and results are accounted for in operating profit only to the extent that dividends, net of any withholding taxes, are received. The results of all other subsidiaries are included from the date effective control was acquired and up to the date effective control ceased. Investments in joint ventures are accounted for on the proportionate consolidation method from the effective date of acquisition and up to the effective date of disposal. All material inter-company balances and transactions are eliminated. Special purpose entities which were established in a recent black economic empowerment transaction have been and will continue to be consolidated while Tongaat Hulett carries a residual risk in these entities.

Minority interests in the net assets of consolidated subsidiaries are identified separately from Tongaat Hulett's equity therein. The interests of minority shareholders is initially measured at the date of acquisition at the minority's proportion of the net fair value of the assets and liabilities consolidated and thereafter, the minority's share of changes in equity since the date of acquisition. Losses applicable to the minority in excess of the minority's interest in the subsidiary's equity are allocated against the interests of Tongaat Hulett except to the extent that the minority has a binding obligation and the financial ability to cover such losses.


Property, plant and equipment are stated at cost, including refurbishment, less accumulated depreciation and impairment. Cost includes the estimated cost of dismantling and removing the assets. Interest and other costs incurred on major capital projects are capitalised until all the activities necessary to prepare assets for their intended use are substantially complete.

Assets held under finance lease agreements are capitalised at fair value and the corresponding liabilities to the lessor are raised. Lease finance charges are charged to earnings over the term of the relevant lease using the effective interest rate method. Land and capital work in progress are not depreciated. All other fixed assets, including major factory overhaul costs, are depreciated and charged to profit or loss over their expected useful lives to estimated residual values at rates appropriate to their use. Where significant parts of an item have different useful lives to the item itself, these parts are depreciated over their estimated useful lives. The methods of depreciation, useful lives and residual values are reviewed annually.

During the year under review, property, plant and equipment were depreciated on the straight line basis using the rates set out below:

  Buildings 30 to 50 years
  Plant and equipment 4 to 40 years
  Vehicles 4 to 12 years
  Furniture and equipment 3 to 10 years


On the disposal or scrapping of property, plant and equipment, the gain or loss arising thereon is recognised in profit or loss.


An intangible asset is an identifiable non-monetary asset without physical substance. Intangible assets are measured initially at cost. After initial recognition, an intangible asset is measured at cost less accumulated amortisation. An intangible asset with a finite useful life is amortised on the straight line basis over its expected useful life, which in the case of software is four years. An intangible asset with an indefinite useful life is not amortised, but is tested annually for impairment. When an intangible asset is disposed of, the gain or loss on disposal is recognised in profit or loss.


Growing crops comprise roots and standing cane. The carrying value is determined as follows:

  • Roots at current replacement cost of planting and establishment and subsequently reduced in value over the period of its productive life;
  • Standing cane at the estimated sucrose content less harvesting, transport and over the weighbridge costs.


Goodwill arising on the acquisition of a subsidiary or a jointly controlled entity represents the excess of the cost of acquisition over Tongaat Hulett's interest in the net fair value of the identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities of the subsidiary or jointly controlled entity recognised at the date of acquisition. Goodwill is initially recognised as an asset at cost. It is subsequently measured at cost less any accumulated impairment losses and is not amortised.


Associates are those companies, which are not subsidiaries or joint ventures, over which Tongaat Hulett exercises significant influence. Results of associates are equity accounted. Any losses of associates are brought to account until the investment in, and loans to, such associates are written down to a nominal amount. Thereafter losses are accounted for only insofar as Tongaat Hulett is committed to providing financial support to such associates.

The carrying value of investments in associates represents the cost of each investment including goodwill, the share of post acquisition retained income or losses and other movements in reserves.


Inventories are valued at the lower of cost and net realisable value determined in general on the first-in-first-out and average methods. The cost of finished goods and work in progress comprises direct materials, labour and appropriate overhead costs. Progress payments are deducted from work in progress where applicable. Development properties comprise land valued at cost and development expenditure attributable to unsold properties. Obsolete and slow moving inventories are identified and suitable reductions in value are made where necessary.


Certain maize purchase commitments are recognised as constructive obligations. Maize that relates to such a constructive obligation is recognised as inventory, the related liability is recognised as a current liability and to the extent that the final purchase price includes a financing element, this is recognised as interest over the period of the obligation.


Deferred tax liabilities are recognised for all taxable temporary differences and deferred tax assets are recognised to the extent that it is probable that taxable profit will be available against which deductible temporary differences can be utilised. Such assets and liabilities are not recognised if the temporary difference arises from goodwill (or negative goodwill) or from the initial recognition (other than a business combination) of other assets and liabilities in a transaction, which does not affect either taxable profit or accounting profit.


At each balance sheet date, Tongaat Hulett reviews the carrying amounts of its tangible and intangible assets to determine whether there is any indication that those assets have suffered an impairment loss. If any such indication exists the recoverable amount of the asset, being the higher of its net selling price and its value in use, is assessed in order to determine the extent of the impairment loss, if any.

If the recoverable amount of an asset is estimated to be less than its carrying amount, its carrying amount is reduced to its recoverable amount. Impairment losses are recognised as an expense immediately and are treated as exceptional items.


Expenditure on research is charged to profit or loss in the year in which it is incurred. Development costs are reviewed annually and are expensed if they do not qualify for capitalisation. The amount of development cost recognised as an asset is amortised over the estimated useful life of the related development but not exceeding five years.


Revenue comprises sales arising from normal trading activities excluding intra-group transactions and is recognised when the significant risks and rewards of the goods are transferred to the buyer. In respect of the sale of township properties, sales are recognised when the relevant agreements are unconditional and binding on the purchaser, the purchaser has paid a meaningful deposit or has made arrangements to secure payment of the purchase price, zoning and final conditions of establishment have been obtained and servicing arrangements and costs are substantially finalised. In the determination of revenue, cash and settlement discounts, rebates and VAT are excluded.


The functional currency of each entity within Tongaat Hulett is determined based on the currency of the primary economic environment in which that entity operates. Transactions in currencies other than the entity's functional currency are recognised at the rates of exchange ruling on the date of the transaction. Monetary assets and liabilities denominated in such currencies are translated at the rates ruling at the balance sheet date.

Gains and losses arising on exchange differences are recognised in profit or loss.

The financial statements of entities whose functional currencies are different to Tongaat Hulett's presentation currency which, because of its primary operating activities, is South African Rand, are translated as follows:

  • Assets, including goodwill, and liabilities at exchange rates ruling on the balance sheet date;
  • Income and expense items at the average exchange rates for the period; and
  • Equity items at the exchange rate ruling when they arose.

Resulting exchange differences are classified as a foreign currency translation reserve and recognised directly in equity. On disposal of such an entity, this reserve is recognised in profit or loss.



A financial asset or financial liability is recognised on the balance sheet for as long as Tongaat Hulett is a party to the contractual provisions of the instrument. Purchases of derivatives are recognised on trade date and sales are recognised on settlement date. Gains or losses on derecognition of financial assets or liabilities are recognised in profit or loss.


Financial instruments are initially measured at cost, including directly attributable transaction costs. Subsequent to initial recognition these instruments are measured as follows:

  • Trade and other receivables originated by Tongaat Hulett are held at amortised cost, using the effective interest rate method, after deducting accumulated impairment losses. Receivables with no fixed maturity are held at cost.
  • Held-to-maturity investments are held at amortised cost using the effective interest rate method after deducting accumulated impairment losses.
  • Held-for-trading, available for sale and cash equivalent investments are held at fair value.
  • Financial liabilities are measured at amortised cost, except for held-for-trading financial liabilities and derivatives, which are held at fair value.
  • Unlisted investments are recorded at cost.

Gains or losses on subsequent measurement

Gains or losses on subsequent measurement of financial instruments that are carried at fair value, and are not part of a hedging relationship, are accounted for as follows:

  • Held-for-trading financial assets are recognised in profit or loss for the year.
  • Available for sale and cash equivalent investments are taken to equity until the financial asset is disposed of, or determined to be impaired, at which time the cumulative gain or loss previously recognised in equity is included in profit or loss for the year.

For the purposes of hedge accounting, hedges are classified into two categories:

  • Fair value hedges, which hedge the exposure to changes in the fair value of a recognised asset, liability or firm commitment; and
  • Cash flow hedges, which hedge exposure to variability in cash flows that is either attributable to a particular risk associated with a recognised asset or liability or a forecasted transaction.

In relation to fair value hedges, which meet the conditions for hedge accounting, any gain or loss from remeasuring the hedging instrument to fair value is recognised in profit or loss for the year. Any gain or loss on the hedged item attributable to the hedged risk is adjusted against the carrying amount of the hedged item and recognised in profit or loss for the year.

In relation to cash flow hedges, which meet the conditions for hedge accounting, the portion of the gain or loss on the hedging instrument that is determined to be an effective hedge is recognised directly in shareholders' equity and the ineffective portion is recognised in profit or loss for the year. For cash flow hedges affecting future transactions, the gains or losses, which are recognised in shareholders' equity, are transferred to profit or loss in the same period in which the hedged transaction affects profit or loss. Where the hedged transaction results in the recognition of an asset or a liability, then at the time the asset or liability is recognised, the associated gain or loss that had previously been recognised in shareholders' equity is included in the initial measurement of the acquisition cost or other carrying amount of the asset or liability.


Where the redemption of debt, raised for major capital projects, is provided for by sinking funds or financial instruments which allow for the legal right of set-off against the debt on the repayment date, and it is expected that the debt will be settled in this way, the related income statement, cash flow statement and balance sheet items are set off.

Financial guarantee contracts

Where financial guarantee contracts are entered into, these are regarded as insurance contracts and accounted for as insurance arrangements.


Government grants are assistance by government in the form of transfers of resources to an entity in return for past or future compliance with certain conditions relating to the operating activities of the entity. When the conditions attaching to government grants have been complied with they are recognised in profit or loss. When they are for expenses or losses already incurred, they are recognised immediately in profit or loss.


Retirement Funds

The assets of the defined benefit scheme and defined contribution schemes are held separately from those of Tongaat Hulett and are administered and controlled by trustees.

The 2001 Surplus Apportionment Plan was approved by the Financial Services Board in May 2007. During 2008, Tongaat Hulett became unconditionally entitled to its share of the employer surplus account pursuant to the 2001 apportionment plan and this was recognised as an asset by Tongaat Hulett. The manner in which the fund proceeds following the unbundling of Hulamin from Tongaat Hulett and the split between employers participating in the fund of the share of the actuarial surplus attributed to the employer surplus account has yet to be finalized and/ or made unconditional. Accordingly, no further surplus apportionment has been recognised on the balance sheet.

Contributions to defined contribution schemes are charged to profit or loss when incurred.

Post-retirement Medical Aid Benefits and Retirement Gratuities

Provision is made for post-retirement medical aid benefits and gratuities payable on retirement and is based on the present value of those liabilities for services rendered to date as determined by independent actuaries. Actuarial gains and losses are amortised over ten years beginning in the year that the actuarial gain or loss arises.


The company enters into share-based payment transactions in terms of the employee share incentive schemes. The charge to profit or loss required by IFRS 2 Share-based Payment is accounted for in terms of the scheme on the basis that the instruments are equity-settled. The total amount to be expensed on a straight line basis over the vesting period is determined by reference to the fair value of the awards determined at the grant date. Non-market vesting conditions are included in assumptions about the number of awards that are expected to become due, including taking into account the forfeiture of instruments due to resignation and these assumptions are reviewed on an annual basis. The fair value of the share-based payment is measured using a binomial tree model and/or a Monte Carlo Simulation model, as is appropriate for the various schemes.


The following corporate transactions were concluded by Tongaat Hulett in 2007:

Unbundling of Hulamin

Pursuant to the listing and unbundling of Hulamin, Tongaat Hulett’s 50% share in Hulamin was valued through the income statement by R3,348 billion in June 2007 and thereafter unbundled as a distribution in specie to Tongaat Hulett shareholders, by way of a reduction of share premium and retained income. Hulamin’s net profit (which does not include the valuation gain) for the period up to the unbundling is reflected as a discontinued operation.

Share Repurchase

The share buy-back in terms of a section 311 scheme of arrangement, totalling R506 million including STC, was implemented in July 2007, on the basis that the premium over the par value of the shares acquired was paid out of retained income and the STC was charged through the income statement.

25% BEE Equity Participation Transactions

Broad based 18% interest held by strategic partners, cane and infrastructure communities:

The broad based BEE equity participation of 18%, involving strategic partners, cane and infrastructure communities, is held by two SPV’s -the Infrastructure SPV (10%) and the yoMoba SPV (8%).

The cost related to this 18% broad based BEE equity participation was measured and recognised at the grant date in June 2007, resulting in a once-off IFRS 2 cost of R320 million being charged to the income statement in 2007.

The BEE Infrastructure SPV participation interest, concluded in 2007, of R1,289 billion was funded through a combination of notional vendor financing (R821 million), preference share funding (R458 million) and equity and shareholders loans of R10 million. The BEE yoMoba SPV participation interest of R1,031 billion was funded through a combination of notional vendor financing (R657 million), preference share funding (R367 million) and equity and shareholders loans of R8 million. The SPV’s participation interests are in the form of preferred ordinary shares which are entitled to receive a fixed coupon every year for a period of seven years. After seven years the preferred ordinary shares will cease to receive preferred ordinary dividends. Tongaat Hulett has therefore committed to pay a fixed coupon on these preferred ordinary shares of R100 million in aggregate on an annual basis and the preferred ordinary shares will not receive any ordinary dividends for the duration of the seven year period. In terms of the notional vendor finance arrangement between the respective SPVs and Tongaat Hulett (R821 milion in respect of the BEE Infrastructure SPV and R657 million in respect of the BEE yoMoba SPV),Tongaat Hulett will be entitled to repurchase, at a price of R0,01 per share, such number of shares as determined in accordance with a repurchase formula, subject to the external funding claims in the SPV. The number of shares repurchased will be a function of the value of the shares subscribed for at par, the notional return required by Tongaat Hulett and the success of the earn-in initiatives by the respective BEE partners. In compliance with IFRS, the two BEE SPV’s are consolidated by Tongaat Hulett and consequently the preferred ordinary shares are not reflected as currently being ‘‘in issue’’ in the consolidated financial statements, but are taken into account when calculating diluted earnings per share. The external debt of the SPV’s, amounting to R792 million in aggregate at 31 December 2008 (2007 – R812 million), is thus reflected on the consolidated balance sheet and the funding charge incurred by the SPV’s is reflected in the consolidated income statement. This BEE debt does not have recourse to Tongaat Hulett and will effectively be equity settled. After seven years the preferred ordinary shares will convert into Tongaat Hulett listed ordinary shares.

BEE 7% employee interest:
The 7% BEE employee transaction comprises the Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP) and the Management Share Ownership Plan (MSOP). The ESOP scheme consists of a share appreciation right scheme and participants share in 50% of the dividend payable to ordinary shareholders. The MSOP scheme consists of two components namely a share appreciation right scheme and a share grant scheme. The ESOP Trust and MSOP Trust were established to acquire and hold Tongaat Hulett Limited shares for the benefit of designated employees. These shares have specific repurchase terms at maturity (five years from grant). They are a separate class of restricted shares which, other than for the repurchase terms, rank pari passu with ordinary shares and become ordinary shares on maturity.

The IFRS 2 cost relating to the 7% BEE employee transaction is amortised over 5 years, commencing in the second half of 2007.

The BEE employee equity participation trusts’ subscription consideration for the new class of share (“B ordinary shares”) was funded through contributions by the respective operating entities in Tongaat Hulett and the notional vendor finance provided to the employees, which will be recovered at the maturity of the scheme through the repurchase by Tongaat Hulett of so many B ordinary shares as equate in value to the amount of the outstanding notional vendor funding. The repurchase formulae take into account a notional funding requirement based, inter alia, on the ordinary dividend declared each year.

In accordance with IFRS, the ESOP Share Trust and MSOP Share Trust are consolidated by Tongaat Hulett and consequently the “B ordinary shares” are not reflected as currently being “in issue” in the consolidated financial statements, but are taken into account when calculating diluted earnings per share.


Preparing financial statements in accordance with IFRS requires estimates and assumptions that affect reported amounts and related disclosures. Certain accounting policies have been identified as involving complex or subjective judgments or assessments. The items for consideration have been identified as follows:

  • Non-consolidation of Zimbabwean subsidiaries:
    The appropriate accounting treatment of the Zimbabwean subsidiaries, in terms of IAS27 Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements, is reviewed on an ongoing basis in the light of the prevailing situation in Zimbabwe.
  • Growing crop valuation:
    Growing crops are required to be measured at fair value less harvesting, transport and over the weighbridge costs. In determining fair value an estimate is made of the yield of the standing cane. This estimate can vary from the actual yield when the cane is harvested.
  • Future development expenditure provision/ accrual at Tongaat Hulett Developments:
    Judgment is applied in determining total project costs, which are supported by estimates from professional consultants and consulting engineers for services infrastructure. These costs are reviewed by management three to four times a year during the forecasting process, and if necessary estimates are revised accordingly.
  • Asset lives and residual lives:
    Property, plant and equipment are depreciated over their useful lives taking into account residual values. The actual lives of the assets and residual values are assessed annually and are influenced by factors such as technological innovation, product life cycles and maintenance programmes. Residual value assessments consider issues such as market conditions, the remaining life of the asset and projected disposal values.
  • Impairment of assets:
    Ongoing assessments are made regarding any potential impairment of assets across Tongaat Hulett, using valuation models prescribed under IFRS.
  • Decommissioning and rehabilitation obligations in respect of the environment:
    Tongaat Hulett monitors and assesses its obligations arising from decommissioning of plant and rehabilitation of the environment on an ongoing basis.
  • Post-retirement benefit obligations:
    Post-retirement benefit obligations are provided for certain existing and former employees. Actuarial valuations are based on assumptions which include employee turnover, mortality rates, the discount rate, the expected long-term rate of return of retirement plan assets, healthcare costs, inflation rates and salary increments.
  • Valuation of financial instruments:
    The value of the derivative instruments fluctuates on a daily basis and the actual amounts realised may differ materially from their value at the balance sheet date.


There are no key assumptions concerning the future and other key sources of estimation uncertainty at the balance sheet date that management have assessed as having a significant risk of causing material adjustment to the carrying amounts of the assets and liabilities within the next financial year, other than in respect of The Tongaat-Hulett Pension Fund, as described under Employee Benefits on page 69.


IAS 19 Employee Benefits, which was amended in 2004, provides an option, which entities may elect to adopt either now or at a later date, that allows for the accounting of actuarial gains/losses, either by recognising them through the income statement over the expected remaining lives of participants, or outside the income statement in a statement titled “Statement of Recognised Income and Expense”. The statement covers pension fund accounting and the provisions for post-retirement medical costs and retirement gratuities. This alternate accounting treatment of actuarial gains/losses will be assessed once decisions have been made on how the pension fund proceeds following the unbundling of Hulamin from Tongaat Hulett and the split between employers participating in the fund of the share of the actuarial surplus attributed to the employer surplus account. The impact of the adoption of the amendments to IAS 19 as it relates to the provisions for post-retirement medical costs and retirement gratuities is relatively immaterial.

The following relevant new standards and interpretations were also in issue but not effective for 2008. Tongaat Hulett is in the process of evaluating the effects of these new standards and interpretations but they are not expected to have a significant impact on Tongaat Hulett's results and disclosures:

IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements
IAS 23 Borrowing Costs
IFRS 8 Operating Segments