Socio-economic development

Societal dynamics play an increasingly significant role in organisations, particularly within multinationals based in Africa. We understand this reality, and are committed to working with our key stakeholders to achieve our key objective of “Value creation for all stakeholders through an all-inclusive approach to growth and development ”.

Tongaat Hulett’s Socio-economic Development (SED) programme incorporates the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and is used to strengthen and build our relationships with government and society, particularly those stakeholders most impacted by our activities. Our SED programme includes the following principles:

  • Corporate governance – We continue to adhere to legal and accepted business practices.
  • Corporate social responsibility – We demonstrate responsibility to society by minimising any negative impact and extending philanthropic and charitable inputs to the communities that we operate in.
  • Social sustainability and innovation – We develop innovative practical approaches to transform society and the environment in order to uplift communities.

For the 12 months to 31 March 2019, we exceeded our commitment of allocating one percent of annual headline earnings to SED. During this period, we invested R197,8m million in our SED initiatives, including the cost of company-sponsored occupational and primary healthcare services. Our operations in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and the Kingdom of eSwatini accounted for 90% of the total amount invested in SED initiatives. Key elements of SED spend for the period were as follows:


  • With most operations in rural areas, a significant amount is invested in running healthcare facilities for employees and local communities.
  • R84,6 million was invested in health-related activities.

Basic needs

  • We continue to invest in basic needs and social development, including food security projects and the provision of basic materials, to uplift communities around company operations.
  • Tongaat Hulett assisted with the provision of food, mosquito nets, building materials and preventative and curative medicines in response to Cyclone Idai, which impacted Mozambique and Zimbabwe in March 2019.

Sports, arts and culture

  • We acknowledge the important role that arts, sports and culture can play in the development of successful rural communities, and invested R13,1 million in these initiatives during the year. In Zimbabwe and Mozambique, soccer plays a significant role in communities, and we sponsor various teams in these operations.


  • We invested R22,6 million in education initiatives across our company. This includes the ongoing provision of water and electricity to several schools, maintenance, school books and furniture.