The South African Breweries (SAB) has forecast an optimistic future for the South African economy, despite the crippling cost of living for consumers, after the company emerged from alcohol bans and disruption to production due to floods.
This comes as the country’s largest brewer repositioned its corporate brand with a new logo and purpose that aims to get South Africans to see beer differently by “dreaming big to create a future with more cheers”.
SAB vice president for corporate affairs Zoleka Lisa yesterday (WED) said the last two years had been very difficult for the business owing to the ban on alcohol sales due to various levels of Covid-19 restrictions.
However, Lisa said they were now looking forward and wanted to assert the voice of moving the country forward and ensure that South Africa remains a resilient nation.
“The brand promise is we are dreaming big to create a future with more cheers. It means we want South Africans to live sharp. It means we are going to play a role in entrepreneurship,” Lisa said.
“Over the past few years, we have invested R530 million in small businesses, supported 5 000 entrepreneurs, 90% rural areas, 70% women. We want a future that is more renewable, and we are investing in renewable technologies for our business operations.”
Indeed, earlier this year, SAB signed a Power Purchase Agreement with Bio2Watt, a black-woman-owned industrial-scale biogas waste-to-energy company.
Bio2Watt will make use of slurry manure from cow dung with a mix of other wastes to produce renewable electricity and supply it from the Cape Dairy Biogas Plant once it reaches commercial operation.
SAB’s new strategy is driven by three central pillars, which include leading the beer category responsibly, optimising the business, and both digitising and monetising the customer and consumer experience.
SAB committed R4.5 billion towards the economic recovery after recording positive growth in earnings for the first three quarters of 2022.
The R4.5bn will further ignite the economies of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
This follows a R650m capital expenditure into the expansion of SAB’s Prospecton Brewery in Durban, while R270m will be committed to upgrading SAB’s Ibhayi Brewery in Gqeberha. This investment alone will provide R3.1bn in additional tax revenue and generate 24 000 jobs throughout the full value chain, and generate R4.4bn in additional GDP for the KZN economy.
SAB CEO Richard Rivett-Carnac said this all ramps up SAB’s total South African investment commitment to R4.5bn – adding impact to an industry that already contributes 1.3% of the national GDP.
“Through investing in organic growth, we will dynamically balance capital allocation to maximise value creation and reinvesting capital back into the local market,” Rivett-Carnac said.
“From our relationship with our industry to the bond we share with our government, to our shared purpose with numerous organisations – it is partnerships that we can truly drive our country towards this future.”