SAB set to transport packaged beverages

By Philippa Larkin Time of article published May 12, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - South African Breweries (SAB) said in a statement yesterday that it had agreed on a way forward with the government to safely transport its packaged inventory, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, from its manufacturing plants to its depots in the next few weeks. 

The agreement comes after SAB last week warned that it could be forced to pour 132 million litres of beer down the drain. It said the beer had been sitting in tanks because of the lockdown. 

The alcohol beverage industry across the value chain is suffering huge losses because of the ban on the sale of alcohol since the National State of Disaster was declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

The distribution and sale of alcohol remains restricted as per Level 4 lockdown regulations. SAB said warehouses at SAB’s seven breweries were now at full capacity and unable to absorb any further inventory, which affected any current beer in the production process being bottled and stored, culminating in the destruction and disposal of the inventory. 
Beer taps of South African Brewery brands, Castle, Castle Light and Black Label, are seen through the window of a closed bar in Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday, May 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Nardus Engelbrecht)

To overcome the problem, SAB said it had collaborated with various ministries and reached an agreement, which would enable the company to transport its beer inventory over the course of the next few weeks and avoid losses in excise tax for the government to the value of R500million. “This indicates that we can collaborate on solutions to help protect the livelihoods of over 250000 South African jobs,” the company said.


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