EXCLUSIVE: New Tongaat CEO on what went wrong at sugar giant
How Tongaat Hulett got into the vicious circle of boosting profits and crashing the business
Drive into Tongaat Hulett’s headquarters on Amanzimnyama Hill north of Durban, and it feels as if there’s been a death in the family. The day the FM visited, 100 staff took voluntary retrenchment packages, partly to curb runaway costs that couldn’t be sustained in an abysmal sugar market.
A recent copy of the FM sits on one of the antique tables in the cavernous reception area, the cover asking: "Tongaat: is this Steinhoff 2.0?" The three-course luncheons to which staff used to gravitate, at tables overlooking the cane fields, have been halted.