Tongaat Hulett has outlined an ambitious cost-cutting drive to save roughly R1bn, Business Day has learnt, as part of efforts under a new management team to clean up the sugar producer’s balance sheet after it uncovered suspicious accounting practices.

Tongaat has hired PwC to investigate past bookkeeping practices that may have overstated profits by between R3.5bn and R4.5bn, the latest in a string of accounting scandals that have called into question local auditing standards.