Accounting policies

for the year ended 30 September 2010



Financial instruments carried on the balance sheet include cash and cash equivalents, investments, receivables, trade payables, borrowings and derivative instruments.

Financial assets
The group classifies its financial assets into the following categories:
  • at fair value through profit or loss (at FVTPL);
  • held-to-maturity investments;
  • loans and receivables; and
  • available-for-sale financial assets.

The above classification is dependent on the purpose and nature for which the financial assets have been acquired. Management determines the classification of its financial assets at the time of the initial recognition and re-evaluates such designation at least annually.

Effective interest method
The effective interest method is a method of calculating the amortised cost of a financial instrument and of allocating interest income over the relevant period. The effective interest rate is the rate that exactly discounts estimated future cash receipts (including all fees that form an integral part of the effective interest rate, transaction costs and other premiums or discounts) through the expected life of the financial instrument, or (where appropriate) a shorter period, to the net carrying amount on initial recognition. Income is recognised on an effective interest basis for financial instruments other than those financial assets classified as at FVTPL.

All financial assets are recognised and derecognised on trade date where the purchase or sale of a financial asset is under a contract whose terms require delivery of the financial asset within the timeframe established by the market concerned, and are initially measured at fair value, plus transaction costs, except for those financial assets classified as at FVTPL, which are initially measured at fair value.

Financial assets at FVTPL
Financial assets are classified as at FVTPL where the financial asset is either held-for-trading or designated as such upon initial recognition. Financial assets at FVTPL are stated at fair value, with any resultant gain or loss recognised in the income statement. The net gain or loss recognised in the income statement includes any dividend or interest earned on the financial asset.

The group classifies derivative instruments as held-for-trading if it is a derivative that is not a designated and effective hedging instrument.

Held-to-maturity investments
Held-to-maturity investments are financial instruments with fixed or determinable payments and fixed maturity dates that the group has the positive intention and ability to hold to maturity. Held-to-maturity investments are recorded at amortised cost using the effective interest rate method less any impairment.

Loans and receivables
Trade receivables, loans and other receivables that have fixed or determinable payments that are not quoted in an active market are classified as loans and receivables. Loans and receivables are measured at amortised cost using the effective interest rate method, less any impairment. Interest income is recognised by applying the effective interest rate, except for short-term receivables when the recognition of interest would be immaterial.

Available-for-sale financial assets
Unlisted shares held by the group are classified as available-for-sale financial assets. On initial recognition, and subsequently at the reporting period date, the available-for-sale assets are stated at fair value. Any unrealised gains or losses arising from the changes in fair value of available-for-sale financial assets are recognised in other comprehensive income. Where the investment is disposed of, the cumulative unrealised gain or loss previously recognised in other comprehensive income is reclassified to profit or loss for the period.

The fair values of financial assets are based on discounted cash flow models. Equity investments for which fair values cannot be measured reliably are recognised at cost less any impairment.

Premiums or discounts arising from the difference between the fair value of the financial asset and the amount receivable at maturity date are charged to the income statement based on the effective interest rate method.

Impairment of financial assets
At each reporting period date, financial assets, other than those at FVTPL, are assessed for indicators of impairment. Financial assets are impaired where there is objective evidence that, as a result of one or more events that occurred after the initial recognition of the financial asset, the estimated future cash flows of the investment have been negatively impacted.

In the case of available-for-sale financial assets, a substantial or prolonged decrease in the fair value of the asset below its cost is considered an indicator of impairment. If any such evidence of impairment exists, the cumulative gain or loss that was previously recognised in comprehensive income is reversed and charged to the income statement. Impairment losses previously charged to the income statement are not subsequently reversed in the income statement. A change in the fair value of available-for-sale financial assets subsequent to the recognition of an impairment loss is recognised directly in comprehensive income.

The group derecognises a financial asset only when the contractual rights to the cash flows from the asset expire, or when it transfers the financial asset and substantially all the risks and rewards of ownership of the asset to another entity. If the group neither transfers nor retains substantially all the risks and rewards of ownership and continues to control the transferred asset, the group recognises its retained interest in the asset and an associated liability for amounts it may have to pay. If the group retains substantially all the risks and rewards of ownership of a transferred financial asset, the group continues to recognise the financial asset and also recognises a collateralised borrowing for the proceeds received.

Cash and cash equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents are stated at carrying value which is deemed to be fair value.

Trade and other receivables
Trade and other receivables are stated at their invoiced value as reduced by appropriate allowances for estimated irrecoverable amounts and cost of collection. An impairment is recognised when there is evidence that the group will not be able to collect all amounts due according to the original terms of the receivable. The amount of the impairment is charged to the income statement.

Derivative instruments
The group is exposed to market risks from changes in interest rates, commodity prices, price risk and foreign exchange rates. The group uses forward exchange contracts, commodity hedges, options and interest rate instruments to hedge its exposure to fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, commodity prices, price risk and interest rates. In accordance with its treasury policy, the group does not hold or issue derivative instruments for trading purposes.

Derivative instruments are initially measured at fair value at the date the derivative contract is entered into and are subsequently stated at fair value at each reporting date. The resulting gains or losses are charged to the income statement.

Embedded derivatives
Derivatives embedded in other financial instruments or other host contracts are treated as separate derivatives when their risks and characteristics are not closely related to those of the host contracts and the host contracts, are not measured at fair value, with change in fair value recognised in profit or loss.

Financial liabilities and equity instruments issued by the group
Debt and equity instruments are classified as either financial liabilities or as equity instruments in accordance with the substance of the contractual terms of the arrangement.

Debt instruments issued, which carry the right to convert to equity that is dependent on the outcome of uncertainties beyond the control of both the group and the holder, are classified as liabilities except where the possibility of conversion is certain. Financial liabilities include interest-bearing bank loans and overdrafts and trade and other payables.

Equity instruments
An equity instrument is any contract that evidences a residual interest in the assets of the entity after deducting all of its liabilities. Equity instruments issued by the group are recorded at the proceeds received net of any direct issue costs.

Financial guarantee contract liabilities
A financial guarantee contract requires the issuer to make specified payments to reimburse the holder for a loss it incurs because a specified debtor fails to make payment when due in accordance with the original or modified terms of a debt instrument.

Financial guarantee contracts are measured initially at their fair values and are subsequently measured at the higher of:
  • the amount of the obligation under the contract; and
  • the amount initially recognised less, where appropriate, cumulative amortisation.

Financial liabilities
Financial liabilities are either classified as:
  • financial liabilities at FVTPL; or
  • other financial liabilities.

Financial liabilities at FVTPL
Financial liabilities are classified as at FVTPL where the financial liability is either held for trading or it is designated as such upon initial recognition.

Financial liabilities at FVTPL are stated at fair value, with any resultant gain or loss recognised in profit or loss. The net gain or loss recognised in profit or loss incorporates any interest paid on the financial liability.

Other financial liabilities
Other financial liabilities, including interest-bearing bank loans and overdrafts are initially measured at fair value, net of transaction costs.

Other financial liabilities are subsequently measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method, with interest expense recognised on an effective yield basis.

Trade and other payables are stated at their nominal value.

Financial liabilities are derecognised when the liability is extinguished, that is, the obligation specified in the contract is discharged, cancelled or expires.


Abnormal items are items of income or expense that arise from ordinary activities but are of such size, nature or incidence that they are disclosed separately in order to best reflect the group’s performance.


Short-term employee benefits
The cost of all short-term employee benefits is recognised during the period in which the employee renders the related service. The provisions for employee entitlements to wages, salaries, performance bonuses and annual leave represent the amounts which the group has a present obligation to pay as a result of employees’ services provided to the reporting period date. The provisions have been calculated at undiscounted amounts based on current wage and salary levels.

Retirement benefits
Payments to defined contribution retirement benefit plans are charged as an expense as they fall due. Payments made to state-managed retirement benefit schemes are dealt with as defined contribution plans where the group’s obligations under the schemes are equivalent to those arising in a defined contribution retirement benefit plan.

Defined benefit obligations
For defined benefit retirement plans, the cost of providing benefits is determined using the projected unit credit method, with actuarial valuations being carried out annually.

Actuarial gains and losses which exceed 10% of the greater of the present value of the group’s pension obligations and the fair value of plan assets are amortised over the expected average remaining working lives of the participating employees.

Past service cost is recognised immediately to the extent that the benefits are already vested, and otherwise is amortised on a straight-line basis over the average period until the amended benefits become vested.

The amount recognised in the balance sheet represents the present value of the defined benefit obligation as adjusted for unrecognised actuarial gains or losses and unrecognised past service cost and reduced by the fair value of plan assets. Any asset resulting from this calculation is limited to unrecognised actuarial losses and past service cost, plus the present value of available refunds and reductions in future contributions to the plan.


The group issues equity-settled share-based payments to certain employees. Equity-settled share-based payments are measured at fair value at the grant date. The fair value determined at the grant date of the equity-settled share-based payments is expensed on a straight-line basis over the vesting period, based on the group’s estimate of shares that will eventually vest. At the end of each reporting period, the group revises its estimate of the number of equity instruments expected to vest. The impact of the revision of the original estimates, if any, is recognised in profit or loss such that the cumulative expense reflects the revised estimate, with a corresponding adjustment to the equity-settled employee benefits reserve.

Fair value is measured by use of a modified Binomial option pricing model. The expected lives used in the model have been adjusted, based on management’s best estimate, for the effects of non-transferability, exercise restrictions and behavioural considerations.

BEE transactions
BEE transactions involving the disposal or issue of equity interests in subsidiaries are recognised when the accounting recognition criteria have been met.

Although economic and legal ownership of such instruments have transferred to the BEE partner, the accounting derecognition of such equity interest sold by the parent company or recognition of equity instruments issued in the underlying subsidiary is postponed until the significant risks and rewards of ownership of the equity have passed to the BEE partner.


A segment is a distinguishable component of the group that is engaged in activities from which it may earn revenue and incur expenses, including revenues and expenses relating to transactions with other components of the group, whose operating results are regularly reviewed by the chief operating decision-maker and for which discrete financial information is available. Operating segments are reported in a manner consistent with the internal reporting provided to the chief operating decision-maker. The chief operating decision-maker, who is responsible for allocating resources and assessing performance of the operating segments, has been identified as the board of directors of the group. The board of directors makes the group’s strategic decisions.


In preparing the financial statements in conformity with IFRS, the board of directors has made the following significant judgements, estimates and assumptions:

Useful lives and residual values
The useful lives and residual values of property, plant and equipment and intangible assets are reviewed at each reporting period date. These useful lives are estimated by management based on historic analysis and other available information. The residual values are based on the assessment of useful lives and other available information.

Property, plant and equipment as well as intangible assets are considered for impairment when conditions indicate that impairment may be necessary and is considered at least annually. The discounted cash flow method is used, taking into account future expected cash flows, market conditions and the expected useful lives of the assets.

Assumptions were made in assessing any possible impairment of goodwill. Details of these assumptions and risk factors are set out in note 12.

Deferred taxation assets
Judgement is applied by management to determine whether a deferred taxation asset should be recognised in the event of a tax loss, based on whether there will be future taxable income against which to utilise the tax loss.

Contracts in progress
Various assumptions are applied in arriving at the profit or loss recognised on contracts in progress. Refer to the revenue accounting policy for more detail.

Provision for obsolete inventory
Judgement is required to establish whether inventory is obsolete, redundant or slow moving and the extent to which cost exceeds net realisable value.

Provision for doubtful debts
Judgement is required to determine the recoverability of trade and other receivables. Various factors are considered when deciding on whether to impair receivables, including general economic conditions, credit terms, payment history and any other knowledge of the financial viability of the customer.

Various assumptions are applied in arriving at the carrying value of provisions that are recognised in terms of the requirements of IAS 37 Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets. This includes the provision for warranty claims and contract completion. The carrying amounts of the provisions are disclosed in note 21.

Retirement benefit obligation
Various assumptions have been applied by the actuaries in the calculation of the retirement benefit obligation. The assumptions are disclosed in note 25 to the annual financial statements.

Deferred tax on fair value of available-for-sale financial asset
In management’s opinion the group’s available-for-sale financial asset will be realised through a sale. As a result, the capital gains tax rate has been used to determine the deferred tax liability resulting from the fair valuation of the asset.