from KHUMBULANI TARUVANDA in Chiredzi, Zimbabwe
CHIREDZI – ZIMBABWE’S largest sugarcane producer has announced a massive retrenchment exercise, citing the harsh trading conditions in the country.
In a statement, Tongaat Hullet noted it intended to shed off about 5000 workers and asked those willing to take up a voluntary package starting from now until the February 24 to come forward.
“As we are all aware Tongaat Hulett is in the process of redefining its future at the back of tough trading conditions facing all its operations in the region. In order to effectively deal with these challenges, the company has initiated a process to increase its human capital capabilities, fundamentally change its performance, culture and strengthen its governance system,” said Tongaat Hullet’ Chief Executive Officer Aiden Mhere.
Mhere said the retrenchment is meant for those workers who want to rest or to take up the entrepreneurial challenge to create wealth through other gainful projects.
The company is offering these workers a gratuity equivalent to two weeks’ pay for every year served, retrenchment bonus of 4/30 of total monthly earnings multiplied by service, six months’ severance pay based on current basis plus cost of living allowance, 12 months medical cover and relocation to a destination of choice in Zimbabwe using company provided transport or hired transport at a cost of $8, 000 cash equivalent.
The company will also pay normal terminal benefits, salaries for the month of February, 3 months’ notice salary in lieu of notice, cash in lieu of accrued vacation leave days as well as payment of pensions in terms of pension fund rules.
Tongaat Hullet runs Hippo Valley and Triangle Estates in the Lowveld where it employs between 17 000 to 20 000 workers at its peak and produces in excess of 4,8 million tonnes of sugar per year.
– CAJ News