After experiencing tremendous growth between 2015 and 2019, which saw the brewer become the second biggest player in the local market, Heineken South Africa announced a R1.6bn local investment at the 2019 South Africa Investment Conference. This amount was earmarked for a number of projects, most notably the extension of its brewery facility in Sedibeng.
In spite of the challenges faced by Heineken and the liquor industry with the ban on the sale of alcohol, which was in place for nine weeks at the start of lockdown and reinstated for five weeks at lockdown alert Level 3, Heineken South Africa is fully adhering to its local investment commitment.
“While the Covid-19 pandemic has put the investment plans of other companies on hold, we are continuing the expansion of our Sedibeng brewery, and continuing with the R1.6bn investments as committed at last year’s Presidential investment Conference,” says Gerrit van Loo, managing director at Heineken South Africa.
Amongst other initiatives, the expansion includes a new three million hectolitres brewhouse. Heineken invested in equipment to locally brew Heineken® 0.0. This is a refreshing alcohol-free beer, brewed with a unique recipe and made from natural ingredients. The beer has a balanced taste, perfect for beer lovers, providing consumers a choice for all their drinking occasions, without compromising on quality.
Globally, Heineken has seen strong growth in the alcohol-free segment and, in South Africa, there has also been an increase in alcohol-free beer sales, making it even more important to match this growing demand by making Heineken® 0.0 available through the business’s retail partner stores and keeping up with increased demand by producing it locally.
“In response to the demand, we have made a significant amount of foreign direct investment in bringing in top quality manufacturing technology including state-of-the-art brewhouse equipment from Germany, de-alcoholisation equipment, as well as Italian bottling line equipment for instance, along with supplies from local suppliers such as piping and civils,” adds Van Loo.
Moreover, other projects for the Sedibeng plant expansion includes a kegging draught line, as well as the installation of a water reclamation plant. The latter is quite significant for Heineken South Africa as it is part of the company’s Brewing A Better World sustainability initiative, one of the pillars of which is to protect water resources. The water reclamation facility will allow Heineken to reduce water wastage, decrease its water consumption at the brewing plant, and enable it to reuse water, which are all vital as the brewery operates within a water scarce area.
“These investments show that Heineken South Africa still believes in and remains committed to the local market and the future of its operations in South Africa. We are very happy to get back to full operation, and greatly appreciate the recent announcement by President Ramaphosa around the restrictions on the off-consumption trade of alcohol. The lifting of these restrictions will result in outlets once again being able to trade as per their normal trading hours. However, we call on all beer drinkers, and the South African public to consume alcohol responsibly and adhere to all Covid-19 regulations in order to keep everyone safe, and the industry operating,” concludes Van Loo.
About Heineken South Africa:
Heineken South Africa is a key player in the beer and cider industry in the country, with an impressive portfolio of brands, including Heineken®, Sol, Desperados, Windhoek, Miller Genuine Draft, Amstel, Strongbow, Fox, Soweto Gold, and Tafel. Heineken South Africa is a joint venture between Heineken N.V. and Namibia Breweries. Visit www.heinekensouthafrica.co.za