Tongaat Hulett continues to strive towards establishing an organisational culture with a zero harm approach. Overall safety performance of the company has improved since 2002 when formal SHE management systems were first introduced.

Tongaat Hulett believes its organisational culture contributes to the safety performance of the company and its stakeholders. The companyís strategy is to progressively influence a shift in culture from one being compliance driven to becoming an interdependent and resilient organisation, where working teams amongst employees and stakeholders within the organisation look after each other to ensure zero harm. The safety improvement plan is underpinned by leading and lagging indicator initiatives which include behavioural interventions, audit programmes and incident investigations. Behaviour based interventions and interaction with private farmers and associated communities were enhanced during the review period and are set to be progressed in the coming year. The audit programme in place entails first party internal audits undertaken by line management, second party audits done by employees from different operations within Tongaat Hulett and annual third party external audits.

Sorbitol production process

Regrettably two employees lost their lives in two separate work related accidents which occurred during the period under review at Triangle and Xinavane operations in Zimbabwe and Mozambique respectively. Both incidents were motor vehicle accidents, and the incident in Mozambique related to the death of driver employed by a company providing transport services to Tongaat Hulett. A reduction in fatalities from eleven in 2009/10 to four in 2010/11 and two in 2011/12 was achieved. The aim remains to completely eliminate fatalities at the workplace. A continuous risk management process was implemented with a view to formulate new and enhance existing standards that are applied as fatality risk controls for high risk activities. In line with the spirit of being a learning organisation, a database for high fatality risk incidents recorded within and outside the company was established to identify causal factor trends and apply effective interventions necessary to stop such incidents from re-occurring and resulting in fatalities.

The Lost Time Injury Frequency (LTIFR) remained at 0,10 per 200 000 hours worked in 2011/12. This statistic which remained the same during the last 3 fiscal years compares well against benchmarked companies. It has however demonstrated that management systems alone cannot completely prevent injuries but also relies on a shift in the organisations behavioural culture that results in everyone being subconsciously safe. It is planned to progressively improve the safety performance every year with the aim to limit LTIFR to below 0,08 per 200 000 hours worked by 2016.

Period Actual 12 months to
31 December 2008
Actual 15 months to
31 March 2010
Actual 12 months to
31 March 2011
Actual 12 months to
31 March 2012
Limits 12 months to
31 March 2013
Sugar 53 0,10 51 0,09 42 0,08 45 0,09 46 0,08
Starch 4 0,28 4 0,27 8 0,53 8 0,40 5 0,34
Developments 0 0,00 0 0,00 0 0,00 0 0,00 0 0,00
Consolidated 57 0,11 55 0,097 50 0,10 61 0,10 - 0,09


Tongaat Hulett has over many decades developed a reputation as being a producer of high quality products. In order to ensure that this reputation is maintained, the company manages its maize requirements on a non-genetically modified basis using a sophisticated identity preservation system. The use of this system enables the company to meet the needs of its customers in the food industry.

In addition, ongoing attention is paid to the requirements of ISO 9001, the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point system (HACCP) and ISO 22000, in terms of quality and food safety standards at all operations. These systems are in various stages of being certified by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).

Sugar is a natural carbohydrate sweetener of plant origin. Sugars made by plants are classified as sucrose, glucose and fructose. All three are found in varying amounts in most fruits and many vegetables. All carbohydrate rich foods, once digested, provide glucose, the primary fuel for the body. The source of the carbohydrate is not significant in a dietary context. The sucrose from sugar cane is identical to the sucrose present in fruits and vegetables.

The growing incidence in chronic diseases of lifestyle such as diabetes, cardio-vascular disease and obesity, especially in children, has focused the attention of policymakers and the media on the consumption of sugar, and the potential contribution of this essential ingredient to the diseases of lifestyle epidemic. Certain reporting on sugar consumption has led to excessive and negative speculation regarding the value of sugar as part of a balanced diet.

Eminent bodies such as the World Health Organisation and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (2003) and the European Food Safety Authority (2010) have examined the scientific evidence relating to the consumption of sugar and other carbohydrates. These bodies have concluded, from a summary of the available evidence, that sugar is not the direct cause of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity or cancer. In fact in 2010 the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC) stated that ďconsumers can continue to enjoy modest amounts of sweetened foods and beverages as part of a healthy diet and lifestyleĒ.