RSSC to destroy sugar worth E6m
MBABANE – Today, 1 350 tonnes of sugar worth E6 million will be destroyed.
This is the sugar produced on the day in which Royal Swaziland Sugar Corporation employee Lucky Sifundza died.
DNA testing revealed at least part of him had been caught in a crushing machine.
According to a joint statement from the company and the Swaziland Sugar Association, the sugar will be destroyed in order to give assurance and peace of mind to customers, stakeholders, members of the public and consumers that the RSSC sugar is still of the highest quality.
The company said it was the perception that had been created following Sifundza’s death that led them to destroy it, and this was not because there was actually anything wrong with the product.
"According to independent expert advice from Australia on sugar production, there is absolutely nothing wrong with sugar produced from Mhlume mill on May 24, 2012 and it was pronounced fit for human consumption. This has also been confirmed by independent DNA tests conducted on the sugar in Pretoria," reads part of the statement, which was signed by RSSC MD Nick Jackson and SSA CEO Mike Matsebula. Both the Corporation and the SSA reiterated their commitment to protecting the quality of the sugar produced in Swaziland.
"SSA understands and takes its responsibility to the consumer and the Swaziland economy seriously. The association recognises that sugar is an important source of job creation and one of the major contributors to the economy of Swaziland. Accordingly, SSA fully supports the decision taken by RSSC to destroy the sugar in question in order to allay any concerns regarding sugar supplied to the public," reads the statement.
The sugar’s disposal will be done in accordance with Swaziland’s environmental laws in order to protect the environment.
Jackson said the Swaziland Environmental Authority, with whom he noted they have good relations, had approved of the disposal method and would also be present to ensure that it went well.
"RSSC is certified to the ISO 22000 Food Safety Standards as well as the OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Standard.
"This ensures that RSSC sugar is produced to the highest standards of food safety and hygiene, in a safe environment for our employees," the press release assures.
It adds: "The RSSC expresses its appreciation to the members of the public, customers, stakeholders, the government of Swaziland, the Royal Swaziland Police and the media for their support, patience and understanding during this very difficult time in the history of the company."
... inquiry nearing conclusion
MBABANE – The inquiry surrounding the circumstances that led to the death of Lucky Sifundza is nearing conclusion.
A report on the findings will be released soon; possibly before the end of the week, RSSC Managing Director Nick Jackson said yesterday.
As soon as DNA test results confirmed that Sifundza was killed while on duty, the company instituted an investigation into his death.
The investigating team soon recommended the suspension, with full pay, of seven employees who had been on duty when their colleague disappeared to facilitate smooth investigations. Interestingly, Facebook comments contributed to the RSSC deciding to destroy the E6m worth of sugar.
The Corporation’s Managing Director, Nick Jackson, said they had been monitoring what people were saying on the social networking site and they felt the wrong impression had been created. "We saw comments there where people would say (tasteless things) and we felt we had to do something about it," Jackson observed.
If you take this sugar on the railway down to Richards Bay they will convert it into bio-fuel which can then be used in diesel engines. After costs have been deducted, the balance could then be given to the family.
Jun 28, 2012, 10:55 AM, John Carver (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Only a thousand and something tonnes....I smell a rat here, just how many tonnes does the mill produce in an hour? You do the math! If the sugar is indeed worth 6Mil, then they should forward that money to the family because Sifundza is embeded in that sugar. FAIR ENOUGH? Think about it people..
Jun 28, 2012, 10:55 AM, Speech (email@example.com)
Well said John Carvar. I hope the editor forwards your request to RSSC....
Jun 28, 2012, 10:55 AM, msizi.Tembe (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you are a board member at RSSC, you know the impact this has had to the bottom line of the business. This loss could have been mitigated if the company had timeously taken the necessary steps when the reports were circulated about a missing person. With such a loss, one would have expected the CEO to resign, but he is still roaming around the company like everything is fine. The board should do its job here and fire this guy. Firing the line manager and supervisors is not enough when the company has lost so much. The CEO should have issued a memo immidiately the matter was reported to say that all operations must come to a grinding halt until the person is found. The company could have lost a day's produce and who knows maybe they could have saved the guy's life. The relatives of the person could have been spared from the torture of a missing family member and running up and down with the police. Surely the loss to the company would not have amounted to this much. I hope this unfortunate incident will become an eye-opener to other companies. Companies the world over are working towards a flat organisational structures and we are still struggling with hierarchical structures and lots of red tape. Flat structures greatly reduce the time to make decisions, please review this thing because again it stifles decision making process. Delayed decisions can cost organisations so much in today's business environment. Today, we do not need just decisions but we need them to be very timely and actionable within a few minutes.
Jun 28, 2012, 10:55 AM, LObhoncela (Bhoncela@yahoo.com)
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