Gauteng premier David Makhura has entrusted the beer industry with the help to revitalise the province’s economy through investments in the townships.
Speaking at a media briefing at the Sandton Convention Centre on Friday, where he announced a partnership with beer giant SAB, Makhura said he placed the beer industry on top of a list of businesses that can deliver on this task.
The SAB plays a crucial role in the province through its plants in Alrode, Chamdor, and Rosslyn, as well as through its beer ecosystem. Sixty-percent of SAB’s beer is brewed in the province, which also serves as the company’s export hub to the rest of the continent.
The alcohol industry value chain contributes about R75-billion to South Africa’s gross domestic product, and the beer category is a major contributor to economic activity in Gauteng. It is also crucial to tourism in the province.
At the same media briefing, SAB CEO Richard Rivett-Carnac and parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) Global CEO Michel Doukeris reiterated the group’s commitment to investing in South Africa.
Rivett-Carnac said the beer giant had taken the opportunity to relook AB InBev’s African growth strategy through the SAB. “South Africa fits in well with our growth strategy. There are massive opportunities across Africa,” said Rivett-Carnac, noting that these opportunities include digitisation and monetising the beer industry in the townships.
He added that digital technologies would be rolled out to retailers, taverns, and other supply chain stakeholders across the continent.
As part of its commitment to the Township Economic Development Act, the SAB said it would revitalise the township economy through its responsible trading programmes under the SAB Sharp.
This after Makhura committed to removing the red tape through the act to facilitate growth. Said Makhura: “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 that I signed a few weeks ago in Soweto.”
Visiting 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.”
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