Our ongoing agriculture activities mean we have a substantial land portfolio within the primary growth corridors of KwaZulu-Natal, with strong policy support for conversion at the appropriate time.
In partnering with key stakeholders, we’ve created mutually beneficial relationships for our shareholders, governments, private farmers and their representative bodies, communities, employees, as well as the people impacted by our company’s operations.
Tongaat Hulett was formed through a merger between the Hulett Corporation Limited and the Tongaat Group Limited, with both their operations dating back to the 1800s. We’ve had a primary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange since 1952, and a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange since 1939.
We operate four sugar mills in South Africa, located on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast and in the Zululand region. Together, these mills are able to produce more than 1 million tons of sugar per year from cane sourced from rain-fed own estates, large-scale commercial, and small-scale private farmers in rural KwaZulu-Natal.
The operation’s central refinery in Durban produces 600 000 tons of high-quality refined sugar per year, with the primary product being the leading Huletts® sugar brand. The South African sugar product range offers a total sweetener solution, including a range of high-intensity sweeteners.
The Mozambique sugar operations are made up of the expanded sugar mills and estates surrounding Xinavane and Mafambisse. Sugar production at the two operations have a combined installed milling capacity in excess of 340 000 tons of sugar per year.
The sugar estates are irrigated and are generally located in areas with favourable growing conditions, resulting in high cane and sucrose yields. The R550 million, 90 000-ton sugar refinery at its Xinavane became operational in the second half of 2018.
The favourable agricultural conditions, proximity to ports, and the technical support from South Africa, position the Mozambique operations well for further growth. Our operations also include extensive landholdings bordering the Kruger National Park, which have high tourism potential.
The Botswana operation has the capacity to pack and distribute 60 000 tons of sugar per annum using its Blue Crystal® brand. In Namibia, Tongaat Hulett has an 80 000 ton per annum packing and distribution operation with its leading Marathon® brand.
The Zimbabwe sugar operations consist of Triangle and a 50,3% stake in Hippo Valley Estates, together representing a combined installed sugar milling capacity of more than 640 000 tons. The total refined sugar installed capacity is 60 000 tons, and the Triangle ethanol plant has an installed capacity of 41 million litres over a 48‑week production season.
The Huletts Sunsweet® brand is the leading sugar brand in Zimbabwe. The country’s Lowveld region has excellent topography and climate, an established water storage and conveyance infrastructure for irrigation, and is recognised globally as a highly competitive sugar producing area. Our Zimbabwean operations also include the country’s largest cattle herd and extensive game reserves, which have significant potential for tourism.
The Tambankulu sugarcane estate in the Kingdom of eSwatini (previously known as Swaziland) is situated in the north east of the country and includes 3 837 hectares of fully-irrigated farms, of which approximately 97% is harvested annually. The estate consistently achieves excellent sucrose yields due to the good soil and growing conditions in the region, delivering its cane to the nearby Simunye and Mhlume sugar mills. The estates have the capacity to produce a Raw Sugar Equivalent (RSE) of around 60 000 tons per annum.
The eight sugar mills in Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe all generate electricity from bagasse during the sugarcane crushing season. In some instances, these operations supply electricity to the grid. In Zimbabwe, Triangle has an ethanol plant which provided 21,7 million litres for blending with petrol during the 2017/18 year. Our company is well placed to benefit from evolving renewable energy dynamics, with the potential to build large-scale renewable electricity plants, as well as the opportunity to convert our export sugar to ethanol in our Southern African operations.
Our animal feeds operation, Voermol Feeds, is located at the Maidstone Mill in Tongaat, KwaZulu-Natal. We manufacture and market a range of energy and supplementary feeds to the livestock farming community through our Voermol® brand, which uses bagasse and molasses. The production and marketing of high-quality, cost-effective products over more than 50 years, combined with the development of long-term relationships with farmers, agricultural companies and suppliers, has established Voermol Feeds as the market leader in the molasses and pith-based animal feeds industry in South Africa.
Our wet-milling operation is the major producer of starch and glucose on the African continent. Established in 1919, the starch operation is an important supplier to a diverse range of South African and African industries. Operating four wet-milling plants located in Gauteng and the Western Cape, we convert more than 670 000 tons of bought-in maize per annum into starch and starch-based products. We manufacture a wide range of products, from unmodified maize starch to highly-refined glucose products, which are key ingredients for manufacturers of foodstuffs, beverages and a variety of industrial products.
Our Amryal® corn starch, Hydex® and Vaalgold®Gluten 60 remain some of the leading starch, glucose and feed ingredient brands in South Africa. The co-products produced during the starch and glucose manufacturing process then supply the animal feed industry. We operate a dedicated Sorbitol facility in Gauteng, and have distribution networks and facilities in Zimbabwe, Australasia and the Far East.
Our significant investments in the production of sweeteners, using both sugar and maize, will ensure that the business remains well positioned to benefit from global developments in this area.
Our inclusive approach to growth and development drives both rural development in these cane catchment areas, as well as urban social and economic empowerment through development of 7 612 developable hectares of prime land in KwaZulu-Natal, near Durban and Ballito. In future years, this land will be converted out of sugarcane into land for urban usage.
Our activities are underpinned by ongoing use of the land under agriculture throughout the development cycle, and start with collaborative planning with authorities on the best use of land for all stakeholders. This leads to the release from agriculture and other development approvals, unlocking infrastructure at key points and the execution of sales at the optimum level for various parcels of land.
For more details regarding these ongoing processes, read our Land Development Portfolio