Today's Labour News

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Tongaat HulettBL Premium reports that agri-processing company Tongaat Hulett could retrench about 390 employees at its SA sugar milling and refining operations.  

The retrenchments at Tongaat come as the company races against time to reduce debt by R8.1bn by March 2021.  It is in talks to sell its starch business to reduce its multibillion-rand debt.  The group, which has been embroiled in a scandal that resulted in an unprecedented restatement of 2018 financial results, is also considering a R4bn rights issue.  Tongaat said on Thursday it had decided to mothball the Darnall sugar mill as part of its drive to reduce costs to ensure its long-term sustainability.  The company said its four sugar mills were producing at levels lower than their installed capacity.  "The removal of additional fixed costs will help us make strides towards lower production costs in our sugar business, and in turn afford us opportunities for investments for long-term sustainability through diversification," the sugar producer indicated.  Sugar cane previously delivered to Darnall mill would be diverted to the Amatikulu and Maidstone mills, also in KwaZulu-Natal.  "While this was not an easy decision, it is critical that we do everything we can to ensure the long-term sustainability of our sugar business in SA, create a springboard for future growth and deliver on our strategic objectives for the benefit of all," the company indicated.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Siseko Njobeni and Karl Gernetzky at BusinessLive (paywall access only)

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