Tongaat Hulett, South African agriculture and agro-processing company has promised to invest around US$29.5mn to boost sugar production in Mozambique
Tongaat Hulett is the majority stakeholder in the Xinavane and Mafambisse sugar mills, situated in the Mozambican provinces of Maputo and Sofala respectively.
As reported in the Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (AIM) news agency, the investment decision follows a long period of uncertainty arising from possibly criminal mismanagement. In 2019, Tongaat Hulett was in financial straits and the trading was suspended on the Johannesburg and London stock exchanges.
General manager of Tongaat Hulett in Mozambique Tendai Masawi spoke about the investment during his presentation of the report on the activities of the Xinavane company to the chairperson of Mozambique's Confederation of Business Associations (CTA) Agostinho Vuma, reported the source.
Vuma is visiting industries to check on the measures they are taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among their workforce.
Quoting Masawi, the source reported, “We will not close either the Mafambisse or the Xinavane sugar factory,” pledged Masawi. “The units will continue to produce,” Masawi added.
According to him, the sugar companies will launch their 2020 production on 7 April. The target is for a total production of 213,000 tonnes of sugar, of which 60,000 tonnes will be refined white sugar, required by the confectionery and soft drinks industry, the source noted.
Vuma remarked that the Tongaat Hulett's decision showed confidence in the Mozambican market.
Tongaat Hulett has 85 per cent of the shares in the Mafambisse company and 88 per cent in Xinavane. The rest of the shares are held by the Mozambican state through IGEPE (Institute for the Management of State Holdings).