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Businessexcellence ACHIEVING






sweet taste of


South Africa’s rich and fertile lands have long been an agricultural utopia for food production—and among the wide variety of crops that have prospered has been sugar


s food science has progressed, the uses of sugar have diversified significantly. Today, it is not only used to add flavour to food but also as a bio-fuel. And at Tsb Sugar, a wholly owned subsidiary of Remgro—a diversified company, listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange—the changes have become a regular occurrence, all part of a developing culture. Tsb Sugar is situated in the picturesque Nkomazi region of the south-eastern Lowveld of Mpumalanga, South Africa, approximately 60 kilometres east of Nelspruit. Its story dates back to 1964, when the Minister of Economic Affairs granted permission to construct the Malelane Sugar Mill, which produced


Ts b S u g a r

Ts b S u g a r

Sappi in Mpumalanga Sappi is one of Mpumalanga’s largest economic contributors and corporate citizens. We operate four business units in the region—Sappi Kraft Ngodwana Mill, Sappi Forests, Sappi Lomati Sawmill and Sappi ReFibre (previously Sappi Waste Paper). We are one of the largest employers and tax payers in the province— our economic contribution to the province GDP is over R2 billion per annum, with more than 33,500 people depending on the company for their livelihood. We support health care, education, environmental, job creation and enterprise development projects and recreation events in the province.

its first sugar crystals 20 months later. Today, the business has spread into a vast empire, with the production of refined and raw sugar remaining at the heart of everything. The raw and processed product is marketed locally by Quality Sugars under the Selati brand name, while the South African Sugar Association (SASA) aids the export process. The overseas focus was further enhanced in 2004 when the company acquired UK business Booker Tate, an organisation responsible for the management of sugar producing companies around the world. The acquisition became just the latest subsidiary of a business that now includes Molatek, an animal feeds company, and Golden Frontiers Citrus and Komati Fruits, which cultivate and export quality citrus fruit. Tsb Sugar is striving to become a world leader in the sugar industry, with a strategy that concentrates on its production, distribution and marketing. However, the ultimate aim stretches much further and includes an active involvement in the renewable energy sector that includes the integration of a number of international biofuel and bio-energy assets. With a vast array of technical knowledge in areas such as agriculture, the company also hopes to provide technical services including help on support contracts, project management contracts and corporate management contracts. Such global reach must seem a million miles away from the aspirations when Tsb Sugar was founded in 1965 as a new venture in competition with the

two then existing market leaders in South Africa. The introduction of the Komati Mill in 1994 served to increase production; and within the space of four short years, the new site was doubled in size to take on extra capacity. Today Komati Mill is acknowledged to be the most modern sugar factory in the entire southern hemisphere. The two mills combined produce nearly half a million tons of sugar every year, contributing approximately 18 per cent to South Africa’s annual sugar production. The mills operate along very clear guidelines—when cultivated sugar cane arrives by road, it is firstly weighed before being moved through the cane preparation area where it is ultimately shredded into a finely chopped fibre, exposing the sweet sucrose-bearing cells. A series of chemical processes extracts the juice from the fibres and a further number of processes evaporate and then crystallise the product to create raw sugar. The raw sugar molasses are used by Tsb Sugar’s animal feed plant (Molatek) at the Malelane Mill and the remainder is sent to the refinery for further processing before it is packed and finally distributed. The company is the single most important driver of the economy in the Nkomazi region and unsurprisingly, takes a keen role within the local community. At a time when South Africa is starting to realise the benefits of Black Economic Empowerment initiatives, Tsb Sugar has adopted a people-centred, needs-driven and sustainable approach to the development of communities and individuals. This focus includes empowering those in need by providing them with knowledge, skills and other key resources to assist them in growing out of poverty. Much of the company’s education centres around its core competencies in science and technology and reaches out to employees’ children and all Tsb Sugar farm schools, as well as linking to the Department of Education and other training institutions. One example of where the company’s education initiatives have really struck a chord has been its Tsb Maths and Science Star Schools project, which attracted the attention of the provincial Department of Public Transport, Roads and Works. Most beneficiary learners had to travel great distances in order to get to the Star School venue where they receive extra lessons; and this resulted in a high level of absenteeism. They are

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Sutherland Transport Sutherland






company, provides fast, friendly and efficient bulk freight transport and logistical solutions to TSB Sugar. Its immaculate fleet of Volvo Trucks, with its broad selection of interlink trailers, is supported by a dedicated team providing uncompromising levels of service 24/7, with satellite tracking and on board vehicle and driver video monitoring.

now able to make use of transport sponsored by the Department, ensuring that they receive the full benefit of the programme; and as a consequence, the Department hopes to be able to recruit employees from the pool of new talent that is being developed. Aside from technical education, the company also provides education on HIV and supports welfare and charity organisations that provide care for sufferers. Sport is another area where the local community has benefited from Tsb’s benevolence: given the area’s love of soccer, the company set up the Selati Super Cup tournament. Today Tsb Sugar employs approximately 2,400 people. Increasingly, its implementation of Black Economic Empowerment has become intrinsically woven into the company culture through a variety of projects that embrace ownership, management, employment equity, skills development, preferential procurement, enterprise development and social investment. The business has helped to establish a black-owned sugar distribution enterprise; the settlement of seven medium-scale cane growers on property acquired by Tsb Sugar for land reform purposes; and the settlement of 420 beneficiaries on a 1,000 hectare sugar cane farm in partnership with the Department of Land Affairs. At the same time, Tsb makes approximately 32 per cent of its purchases from BEE suppliers and is committed to increasing its annual BEE procurement spend to at least 50 per cent of purchases by the end of this year. Tsb Sugar has also focused training and skills development specifically on employees from designated groups, some of whom have been identified for middle and senior management positions; while a sale of 49 per cent of the equity in Golden Frontiers Citrus to the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa will create further opportunities for Black Economic Empowerment. Tsb Sugar has remained innovative, responsible and committed to its future and the future of its communities. It embodies the Rainbow Nation.




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