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05-08-2008

Tongaat Hulett in joint initiative to develop black maize farmers


(formerly The Tongaat-Hulett Group Limited)                                    
(Registration number 1892/000610/06)                                           
Share code: TON                                                                
ISIN ZAE000096541                                                              
TONGAAT HULETT: MEDIA RELEASE - TONGAAT HULETT IN JOINT INITIATIVE TO DEVELOP  
BLACK MAIZE FARMERS                                                            
Tongaat Hulett further enhanced its reputation in the area of Broad-Based      
Black Economic Empowerment with the launch today of the Ithuba Farming         
Project, an initiative in partnership with the Buhle Farmers' Academy. The     
primary objective of the project is to increase the number of competent black  
commercial maize farmers in South Africa.                                      
CEO Peter Staude says, "As an agri-processing business we acknowledge that our 
organisation has a meaningful role to play in land reform and skills           
development in our areas of operation. Our medium scale farm program has to    
date, resulted in the transfer of 98 farms, comprising 11 871 hectares of      
land, to previously disadvantaged emerging farmers. Tongaat Hulett is one of   
the largest buyers of maize in South Africa and the Ithuba Farming Project     
presented us with an ideal opportunity to assist with the development of black 
maize farmers and thereby ensure that the pool of farmers supplying our mills  
increases."                                                                    
Tongaat Hulett established a fully equipped farm at the Kliprivier Mill one of 
its starch operating facilities. The company built residential accommodation   
and the Ithuba Farming Project commenced operations in late 2007. Ten trainee  
farmers have been involved in various aspects of commercial farming including  
the planning and budgeting phase, soil sampling, fertilizer recommendations,   
soil preparation, planter and fertilizer calibration, spraying, weed control,  
mechanical operations, labour activities, record keeping, repairs and general  
management of the farm. The Ithuba student farmers were supervised on a weekly 
basis by Buhle staff and they were given the opportunity to practise their     
newly acquired skills under careful supervision and mentoring in a trusted     
environment.                                                                   
"The partnership between Tongaat Hulett and Buhle Farmers' Academy is          
excellent because it links the skills of the new farmers provided by the       
Academy with commercial practise of these skills on Tongaat Hulett's land. The 
students have now proved themselves capable of embarking on their own          
agricultural enterprises and they are ready to move onto land, negotiate       
production loans and farm competitively in their own right", said Buhle        
Farmers' Academy director Neil de Smidt.                                       
Peter Staude concludes, "Tongaat Hulett continues to engage with the           
Department of Land Affairs both regionally and nationally, seeking to build    
relationships as well as an understanding of the role that the company can     
play in assisting the land reform process. We are committed to the upliftment  
of skills in the areas in which we operate and we will continue to look for    
opportunities to increase the contribution that we as an organisation are      
making to the benefit of all South Africans."                                  
About Tongaat Hulett                                                           
Tongaat Hulett is an agri-processing business which includes the integrated    
components of land management, property development and agriculture. Through   
its sugar and starch operations in Southern Africa, Tongaat Hulett produces a  
range of refined carbohydrate products from sugar cane and maize. It has       
considerable expertise in downstream agricultural products, bio-fuel           
production and electricity cogeneration. Competition for alternative land      
usages is increasing rapidly. Tongaat Hulett balances the operational          
requirement for cane supplies to its sugar operations with the transition to   
property development.                                                          
The Financial Mail (FM) Top Empowerment Companies (2008) publication           
acknowledged Tongaat Hulett as being one of only four companies, listed on the 
main board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) that attained a Level      
Three Contributor status. Tongaat Hulett was awarded the inaugural Alec Rogoff 
Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Award, an initiative by the Durban      
Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and National Empowerment Rating Agency KZN   
(Pty) Ltd (NERA KZN) that seeks to recognize Broad Based Black Economic        
Empowerment achievers in KwaZulu-Natal.                                        
Tongaat                                                                        
08 May 2008                                                                    
Sponsor                                                                        
INVESTEC BANK LIMITED                                                          
Date: 08/05/2008 13:45:02 Produced by the JSE SENS Department.                 
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