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SEZELA has achieved the unique distinction of having the best laboratory for Seasons 2009, 2010 & 2011 from the 15 mills which take part in the SMRI annual Best Lab competition in South Africa. The award was achieved through the hard work, commitment, focus and efforts of all the laboratory staff (PICTURED).
The analytical results for the 2011/12 season combined for both Sugar and Molasses were 94.05% within tolerance, and a record was set by Sezela in the industry for the 2011/12 season having a 100% in tolerance for Molasses analysis.
The laboratory staff and SMRI delegates were treated to a party at the Bell & Anchor restaurant and each staff member received a jacket to commemorate the event.
THE AB Sugar-sponsored and Illovo Sugar-led Cane Centre of Excellence was inaugurated via a workshop that took place from 3-5 September at the Gateway Hotel in Umhlanga and at the Illovo Sugar Ltd Head Office in Mount Edgecombe, South Africa.
The theme of the workshop was “More with Less” and it was organised and led by the Illovo Group Agriculture–Technical Services department under the guidance of Geoff Trott with assistance from Patrick Jarvis and Debbie Jenssen of AB Sugar (ABS).
The main workshop was attended by 47 delegates and brought together senior Illovo Sugar Limited (ISL) and AB Sugar South China agriculturalists with invited farmers, scientists, leaders and experts from the local and international field.
The aim was to create a community and to lever the wider group thinking to prioritise future areas of work required to improve competitiveness through sustainable and cost effective sugar yield improvement in cane agriculture across the AB Sugar companies.
The leadership of AB Sugar was represented by operations & technical director Ben Hackett and the Illovo leadership was represented by operations director Gavin Dalgleish and technical executive Steve Langton.
The conclusion of the delegates was that the workshop was a major success and it resulted in a number of priority focus areas which were deemed a great starting point to aid in achieving the required outcome. A number of projects will be founded over time in these focus areas and developed to implementation by the ISL Group Agricultural–Technical Services department. Additional information on these particular projects will be available in due course.
EVERY year sugar plantations worldwide lose millions of dollars in uncollected cane stalks left lying in the fields. For a factory like Nakambala, crushing more than three million tons of cane annually, the leftover cane translates into a significant amount of uncollected revenue left to spoil in the fields.
For instance, in the 2011/2012 season alone, about 1.79 tons cane per hectare (TCH) was left uncollected in fields, which translates into an estimated 4 million Rands (2.4 billion Zambian Kwacha) loss in revenue.
To correct this, a special task force was created to apply the principles of Continuous Improvement to reduce the leftover cane to 1 TCH or less. The Nakambala LeftOver Cane Project was initiated on 28 March to last till 31 December 2012.
Ten team members were selected from various departments and sections to pioneer the project.
The leftover cane was categorised into long stalks, short stalks, cane stumps, and cane tops, with data showing that whole stalks and short stalks constituted 57% and 33% respectively of the total leftover cane of 1.79 TCH for the 2011/2012 season. Efforts were therefore prioritised to reduce the amount of leftover whole and short stalks.
The overall leftover cane was reduced from 1.79 TCH to 1.24 TCH as of week 24, resulting in a marked and welcome annual saving.
UBOMBO SUGAR’S efforts to help solve the critical issues of HIV and AIDS have been generally acknowledged, as has been its commitment to caring for the communities in which its employees live and work.
The Ministry of Health of Swaziland recently awarded it a certificate of recognition for being one of the facilities with the best coverage in HIV care. With Swaziland currently at the epicentre of the global HIV and AIDS pandemics, with 26% of adults HIV-positive, Ubombo Hospital has put the fight against HIV and AIDS as its top priority.
To achieve this, its HR manager Jobe Mashwama acknowledges the valuable support HIV programmes are receiving from Ubombo’s senior management, the dedication of its hospital staff, the reliable efforts from the vibrant group of company peer educators and the AIDS support group.
Ubombo continues to use the World AIDS Day commemoration to raise awareness among the workforce and 2012 was no exception, with a march and a number of festivities arranged.
The hospital has initiated ante-retroviral (ARV) programmes with technical support from public and private sector partners. As a result of these combined efforts, Ubombo Sugar calculates that ARV therapy has long-term cost benefits through reduced absenteeism, death (recruitment, training, reduced productivity) and hospitalisation.
CHILD Health Days (CHDs) are regular events organised to deliver an integrated package of preventive services known to be highly cost-effective for improving child health and survival that are run in conjunction with routine services at health facilities.
CHDs aim to reach all children under the age of five years at least every six months during a limited time period (week). The package of essential preventive health services include Vitamin A supplementation, de-worming or other services as deemed appropriate. This year Nchalo had Vitamin A supplementation and de-worming, both vital in the battle against diseases in children.
The campaign, conducted from 30 July–3 August, resulted in a total of 1 637 children receiving the services - 63% of the targeted population.
UMZIMKULU this year put up a display at the local Lions Show which showed the public the difference between burnt and trashed cane, introduced the new peanut butter and syrup mix, made cane juice and showed how alcohol was displayed as well as demonstrating what some of the Illovo downstream products look like.
Corporate social investment project displays included a raffle in aid of the Louisiana Primary School feeding scheme and a coffee and donut shop to sweeten up the scene.
Umzimkulu again won three prizes - best marketed stand, best outdoor stand and a 2nd overall on show. PICTURED with the trophies are (from left) back: Dumile Mbuyeleni, Vinesh Mahabeer, Mqondisi Dladla, Kundai Kamsena, Bonginkosi Mncwabe; in front: Khaya Mjaji.
AN exciting new development programme has been launched in which carefully selected early-in-career graduates are spending six months in an AB Sugar business different from their own.
Known as The International Experience Programme, it has been devised to provide an opportunity for people with potential to gain structured and supported international experience, build strong networks and help accelerate their future career within AB Sugar. We have a unique opportunity to leverage the international scope of AB Sugar to develop talent and to facilitate greater collaboration and understanding across our businesses. This will offer participants the opportunity to experience a different way of operating, a different culture and to meet and interact with a new group of people.
Illovo Sugar has three participants – Fred Simwase, Roy Gent and Wiseman Nene - who all recently completed their EIT programme. Wiseman Nene from Eston is based in the North at Jangbei, China, about 2-3 hours’ drive north-west of Beijing. He began in October 2012 and is participating in the start-up of AB Sugar China’s new factory.
Roy Gent from Sezela, based primarily in Madrid with their technology department, will also spend four weeks at the Guadalete refinery, four weeks at the Bañeza factory and a few days at Wissington in the UK. He also began in October 2012 and the main focus of his programme is to assist the Spanish business with the development of a liquid sugar product.
Fred Simwase from Nakambala is based at AB Sugar’s Central Office in Peterborough, UK, with the technology team. He will also spend time in China and Spain, focusing mainly on energy projects across all four AB Sugar businesses. He began his programme in early December 2012.
Illovo will be hosting an agricultural graduate from China, to be based mainly at Dwangwa in Malawi, and an operations graduate, who will be working with our corporate operations team.
THE 2012 Zambia Sugar Shareholders’ Open Day took place on 9 August, providing an opportunity for shareholders to visit Nakambala Estate and interact with the management to learn more about their company. Centre stage at this year’s Open Day was the demonstration of the electronic voting system that would later be used at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 14 August.
The company hired two 65-seater buses for the shareholders from Lusaka and beyond. After breakfast, and a briefing from management, a tour of company operations followed, covering the fields, the factory areas of caneyard, packing station and the warehouses, and the Zambia Sugar main clinic.
INTERNATIONAL Children’s Day was celebrated on 1st June and Maragra was involved in ensuring that the children at Maragra Primary School received the attention they deserved on this special day. The children were treated to a scrumptious lunch and also sweet treats.
Even though this was a day filled with fun and activities, it did not lose sight of the importance of education - the children were handed prizes such as school bags and other school materials for participating in the sporting events.
ILLOVO donated the sum of R25 000 towards a prefabricated classroom (PICTURED) for Hope Valley Farm School and Lilly of the Valley Orphanage in the area of the Eston mill. The two schools have merged, hence the need for an urgent temporary structure to accommodate the Grade 9s from Lilly of the Valley. Total cost of the structure was R35 000, of which the school raised the R10 000 balance through a Fun Run, which was well supported.
EMPHASIS has continued to be placed on Safety and Health training at Maragra, with a number of safety training programmes and workshops being presented - such as accident incident investigation, HASCHEM, fire-fighting and more. As a result, all the NOSA training requirements were met in a recent NOSA audit, much to the satisfaction of the newly-appointed Maragra risk manager, Antonio Matavele.
JOSEPH MATOBO, an electrical fitter at Nakambala, was last year awarded a ‘Green Card’ by NOSA auditors for his neatness after his locker - which was randomly selected for audits - was found to be in a superb state. In the factory, a Green card is a system of recognition for one’s contribution to safety in terms of housekeeping. It was a proud moment for Joseph.
What motivates him? Well, Joseph has been at Zambia Sugar for 17 years and he believes safety is the main challenge that concerns him. And for him, good housekeeping is the key to achieving safety. So he hopes everyone can buy into this culture to ensure a safe, great and successful work environment.
Joseph’s locker was randomly picked for a spot check during Illovo Sugar MD Graham Clark’s visit to Nakambala (PICTURED) but he was not alarmed as he knew his locker would be in order.
PRE-EMERGENT herbicides are chemicals that are applied to the soil to suppress weed seed germination. This herbicide application plays an important part in keeping sugarcane weed free, thus reducing competition to increased cane yields. To be effective there is a need for the spraying gang to be spraying full cover at a uniform speed from a good height.
To achieve this, Nchalo has purchased a hydraulic-operated tractor-mounted boom sprayer Jacto Candor 800. A boom is a light hollow tube or pipe which is used to carry the spray liquid under pressure from the pump to one or more nozzles. Apart from doing the job in record time, this sprayer will increase efficiencies associated with pre-emergence herbicide application.
NELISIWE NXUMALO, a process operator at Sezela, recently enjoyed what she describes as “a life-time experience for me, my first time travelling overseas and specifically representing my country.”
Nelisiwe is part of a group working on a five-year programme with the IUF (International Union of Food Workers) Global Sugar on women in the workplace - their issues and problems they face - and Health and Safety. She was nominated by IUF and CLC (Canadian Labour Congress) to attend as one of the International guests at the CLC Summer School to represent Southern African women and do the presentation on the programme to the CAW (Canadian Auto Workers), which are the funders of the different projects in different countries internationally. The Summer School, from 15-27 July, was held at Port Elgin in Canada.
“My presentation was mainly on the impact the whole project has had on us as Southern African women and how the laptops they gave us are helping us continue with the project and make communication easy,” Nelisiwe says. “There were representatives from countries like Bermuda, Bangladesh, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, India, Togo and Zimbabwe. I also attended a Health and Safety Course and Instructor Training Course, and visited places in Canada like Niagara Falls and the CNN Tower.”
THE Protec organisation aims to make a difference by improving the education of less privileged children all over South Africa, by offering Saturday classes and by arranging career guidance opportunities.
Its Umlazi branch approached Illovo for help and Busi Mvelase (PICTURED), HR officer at Illovo Sugar SA head office, took up the challenge. With very short notice and mostly in her own time, she put together and manned an impressive Illovo display stand at the Careers day held on the campus of the Mangosuthu University of Technology.
A presentation by a number of senior managers (Johan van Rensburg, Edgar Bruggeman, Rob Aitken and Charles Kruger) covering all the various career opportunities from field to market within Illovo was also well received by the eager matric students.
YES, the Equator – that O degrees line of Latitude that divides Earth into two halves, the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere. Well, judging from the expressions on the faces of this group from Kilombero who were in Kenya recently on a fact-finding mission, it’s a time for smiles and enjoying the moment.
Just so you can’t miss it – O degrees latitude is an imaginary line after all - the spot has been clearly marked by the Lions Club of Kisumu with an eye-catching three-dimensional sign.
Savouring the experience and all with links to Kilombero’s new ethanol distillery, from left are Timothy Tandika (to be appointed distillery manager), Mr Roy (DBS site manager), Veneshree Naidu (commissioning manager and initial distillery manager), George Palmer (IDTL construction manager) and Benny Kallarakal (PRAJ head of planning).
A HARD-WORKING Illovo Head Office team did their bit for Mandela on 18 July at the Waterloo Primary School. A lot of hard work was worth it when they saw the end result, a clean classroom that the children would walk into the next school day.
Chantel Hardy reports: The volunteers joined with the school staff to start the day by singing "Happy Birthday to Madiba", after which it was cupcake time, then we were issued with t-shirts, hard hats and paint trays and selected the classroom to paint.
After much scraping off of Prestik and bubblegum from the walls and the peeling paper from the notice board, we sand-papered the walls and got down to the painting. It was great working with such a wonderful team, who even ensured the classroom was swept clean before we left the school.
We enjoyed the opportunity to assist with this project and we look forward to carrying the Illovo banner into other community upliftment projects.