JOHANNESBURG - The South African Breweries (SAB) and AB Inbev today mark one year since the two global brewers combined their businesses.

Over the last year, the business has been transformed to achieve the dream of creating a better world in which everyone has the opportunity to improve their lives with a particular focus on communities. In Africa, the three key priorities of this strategy are job creation; promoting nutrition and health; and reducing harm caused by the misuse of alcohol.

“We are proud of what we’ve been able to achieve in South Africa and across Africa in just one year, thanks to the remarkable work of our team. Their efforts showcase what we have been able to achieve by bringing together two great companies to create one team, with one dream – to bring people together for a better world,” said Ricardo Tadeu, Zone President for SAB and AB InBev Africa.

Carlos Brito, the chief executive of Anheuser-Busch InBev. File picture: Eric Vidal

The organisation has worked hard over the past year on its Public Interest Commitments (PIC’s) made to government and regulatory authorities during the business combination in late 2016. The PIC’s include a R1-billion investment over 5 years in the areas of Agriculture (R610-million), Enterprise and Supplier Development (R200-million) and Societal Benefits (R190-million); reinforcing a transformation agenda across our business. 

 
In addition, SAB has implemented programmes that are over and above the PIC’s and which complement them. These include the goal of creating 10 000 jobs in South Africa by 2022 through the recent launch of SAB’s entrepreneurship programme and a R2.8-billion investment in two of its breweries in Gauteng.
 
Efforts have been made to grow the local agricultural sector by strengthening rural employment and job creating and accelerating the development of emerging farmers.  Furthermore, several societal investments are planned such as disability learnerships, bursaries, water, waste and solar, school sports programmes and environmental education projects.  

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Job creation is embedded in the company’s business strategy which focuses on fostering a better world where everyone has an opportunity to improve their livelihoods. The three key priorities of this strategy are job creation; promoting nutrition and health; and reducing harm caused by the misuse of alcohol.
 
“We recognise that job creation is top of mind amongst South Africans. As one of the country’s leading corporates with a deep sense of pride, and a belief in the future of our country, we have not only a responsibility to help, but a duty to improve the lives of people in communities. We will do this through a range of initiatives, including providing real, authentic and sustainable jobs that we can measure going forward,” says Tadeu.
 
Ten thousand jobs by 2022

The SAB Entrepreneurship Programme encompasses four entrepreneurship programmes – SAB KickStart, SAB Foundation, SAB Accelerator and SA Thrive – which provide support to entrepreneurs and opportunities for them to become part of the SAB supply chain. Collectively, they offer a comprehensive and holistic package of entrepreneurship support to develop small businesses from ideation to growth, transforming the supply chain, as well as investing in the potential of entrepreneurs in the broader community. Using these programmes, SAB is targeting the creation of 10 000 jobs in South Africa by 2022.

SAB has launched its Beers of Africa initiative as a tool to fight hunger in Africa.Photo: Bloomberg


R2.8-billion rand brewery investment

In mid-2017 SAB announced an investment of R2,8-billion in expansions at two of its breweries, Alrode in the south of Johannesburg and Rosslyn, outside of Pretoria. The expansions include a new packaging line for returnable glass bottles at both breweries and a brewhouse at Rosslyn, and will create up to 70 additional full time jobs. Each brewery has received a new 45 000 bottle per hour packaging line for returnable glass bottles, adding a total of four million hectolitres of capacity per year. The equipment, ordered in December 2016, has taken six months to build in Germany. The packaging lines can produce 660ml and 750ml bottles.
 
Each plant will take South African construction workers, civil engineers and equipment installers several months to install and once completed will take up 4 500 square metres. In addition to having 400 workers per site at the peak of each construction, four million new plastic crates and 48-million locally produced new returnable glass bottles have been ordered by SAB.

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE