Source: The South African Breweries.

South African Breweries (SAB), part of the AB InBev family, has reaffirmed its commitment to South Africa and the rest of the African continent in support of economic growth and sustainability during the visit of AB InBev CEO Michel Doukeris this week to the country. 

The visit follows the investment pledge made at the recent 4th South African Investment Conference (SAIC), when SAB announced its intended investment pipeline for South Africa and African countries over the next few years. 

This includes SAB’s 2022 investment pledge of R4.5 billion, and a total planned CAPEX investment of R573 million this year for the continent. 

Of the total pledge: 

  • R1.9 billion will go towards returnable packaging which will enable SAB to continue transforming the industry by employing Black suppliers. 
  • R825 million will go towards SAB’s Prospecton Brewery in Durban, in KwaZulu Natal, which will support job creation across the value chain, increasing tax revenues and additional GDP for the province’s domestic economy. 
  • R510 million will go to upgrading SAB’s Ibhayi Brewery in the Eastern Cape, which will support job creation, leading to 14,000 additional jobs through the value chain and generating R2.5 billion in additional GDP for the economy. 

 As a social and economic partner playing a critical role in helping South Africa recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and grow, SAB said that it continues to look forward to partnering with the local government in achieving shared objectives. 

The alcohol industry value chain contributes approximately R75 billion to South Africa’s GDP. 

Speaking about the visit, Michel Doukeris said, “Public-private partnerships are critical to supporting national and continental economic objectives. 

“Beer is generally produced locally, distributed locally and consumed locally, so our industry is uniquely positioned to provide higher direct economic benefits to support communities and economies around the world, and right here in Africa. 

AB InBev and SAB remain committed to South Africa and the continent’s economic recovery to help drive a more sustainable and inclusive future.” 

Township economy revitalisation 

In a further initiative to strengthen its partnerships with Government, the SAB team met with Gauteng Premier David Makhura. 

The engagement aimed to discuss partnership opportunities on investments into the Province, exports from the Province, township revitalisation as well township activities. 

SAB plays a crucial role in the province through its plants in Alrode, Chamdor and Rosslyn and the beer ecosystem. The beer category is a major contributor to economic activity in the Gauteng province and is crucial to provincial tourism. 

60% of SAB’s beer is brewed in Gauteng and it’s the export hub to the rest of Africa. SAB believes that in partnership with the South African Government it can create a more sustainable and inclusive future by supporting the national and continental economic objectives. 

The township economy is important for SAB due to the company’s footprint in Gauteng, inclusive of three plants. 

SAB is contributing to the Township Economic Development Act by committing to revitalising township economies through our Responsible Trading Programmes under SAB Sharp. 

The Premier committed to removing red tape through this act to facilitate growth. The Gauteng Government has played a critical role in township economic activities. 

Premier David Makhura commented, “As Gauteng government we will do all that is needed to ensure that SAB continues to invest into our township businesses, which is in line with the Township Economic Development Act- which I signed a few weeks ago in Soweto.”