SAB, government agree on transportation of beer
JOHANNESBURG – The South African Breweries (SAB) said in a statement on Monday 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 on Monday that warehouses at SAB’s seven breweries were now at full capacity and unable to absorb any further inventory, which effected any current beer in the production process being bottled and stored, culminating in the destruction and disposal of the inventory.
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 to avoid losses in excise tax for the government to the value of R500 million.
"SAB would like to extend its gratitude to the government, this move during these difficult times is a clear indication that we can and should collaborate on solutions that will help protect the livelihoods of the over 250 000 South Africans across SAB’s broad value chain," the company said.