FMCG News South Africa

AB InBev, SAB committed to Africa's economic recovery - CEO Michel Doukeris

South African Breweries (SAB), part of AB InBev, reiterated its commitment to supporting economic growth and sustainability in Africa and South Africa during a visit to the country this week by AB InBev global CEO Michel Doukeris.
SAB CEO Richard Rivett-Carnac with AB InBev CEO Michel Doukeris. Source: Supplied
SAB CEO Richard Rivett-Carnac with AB InBev CEO Michel Doukeris. Source: Supplied

The visit from Doukeris follows the investment pledge made at the most recent 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 R4.5bn, and a total planned Capex investment of R573m this year for the continent.

Of the total pledge:

• R1.9bn will go towards returnable packaging which will enable SAB to continue transforming the industry by employing Black suppliers.

• R825m will go towards SAB’s Prospecton Brewery in Durban, in Kwa-Zulu Natal, which will support job creation across the value chain, increasing tax revenues and additional GDP for the province’s domestic economy.

• R510m 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 R2.5bn in additional GDP for the economy.

Public-private partnership

Noting that the alcohol industry value chain contributes approximately R75bn to South Africa’s GDP, SAB said that it looks forwards to partnering with the local government in achieving shared objectives in helping South Africa recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking about the visit, 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.”

Revitalising township economy

In a further initiative to strengthen its partnerships with Government, the SAB team met with Gauteng Premier David Makhura to discuss partnership opportunities on investments into the province, exports from the province, township revitalisation as well township activities.

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

Sixty percent 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.

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.”

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