Big things brew­ing in Bay for SAB

The Herald (South Africa) - - Front Page - Shaun Gill­ham gill­hams@ti­soblack­star.co.za

A new R438m pro­duc­tion line and ac­com­pa­ny­ing in­fra­struc­ture for the pro­duc­tion of South African Brew­eries’ re­cently in­tro­duced 1-litre Cas­tle Lager and Car­ling Black La­bel re­turn­able glass bot­tles was un­veiled at the com­pany’s Ib­hayi Brew­ery in Port El­iz­a­beth on Thurs­day.

The state-of-the-art pack­ag­ing line – onto which Cas­tle Lite’s 910ml re­turn­able glass bot­tles are ex­pected to be in­tro­duced from early 2019 – was re­vealed to me­dia and dig­ni­taries, in­clud­ing East­ern Cape pre­mier Phu­mulo Ma­su­alle and East­ern Cape Liquor Board CEO KC Maneli, at the fa­cil­ity in Per­se­ver­ance.

SAB zone pres­i­dent Ri­cardo Tadeu and Ib­hayi Brew­eries plant man­ager Bog­art But­ler also par­tic­i­pated.

Four­teen new jobs were cre­ated at the SAB and AB inBev Africa-owned brew­ery.

Twelve of the 14 new po­si­tions at Ib­hayi Brew­ery are now oc­cu­pied by women.

The cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture, which also in­cluded a new ware­house, has added a sec­ond pro­duc­tion line to the fa­cil­ity and will al­low the brew­ery to ef­fec­tively dou­ble its pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity in the short term, and al­low for ex­pan­sion.

The cap­i­tal in­vest­ment is over and above the pub­lic in­ter­est com­mit­ments made by AB InBev to the SA govern­ment at the time of its busi­ness merger with SABMiller at the end of 2016.

The com­mit­ments in­volve AB InBev in­vest­ing R1bn into SA agri­cul­ture, en­trepreneur­ship and so­ci­etal ben­e­fits over the next five years.

“Fixed in­vest­ment, which leads to con­fi­dence, is one of the key com­po­nents needed to drive eco­nomic growth in a coun­try,” Tadeu said.

“This helps to cre­ate jobs and en­cour­ages for­eign in­vest­ment, which is not go­ing to hap­pen if do­mes­tic in­vest­ment does not take place.

“At the on­set of the global busi­ness com­bi­na­tion be­tween SABMiller and AB InBev the agenda was one of growth and in­vest­ment.

“A com­mit­ment was made to grow and make a real dif­fer­ence in SA and this com­mit­ment has been ac­cel­er­ated through the in­vest­ment at Ib­hayi Brew­ery.”

Ma­su­alle said the in­vest­ment was par­tic­u­larly wel­come in light of the chal­lenges faced by the na­tional and pro­vin­cial economies over the past few fi­nan­cial quar­ters.

“We ap­pre­ci­ate this new de­vel­op­ment by SAB and AB InBev,” Ma­su­alle, who also ex­pressed ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the com­pany’s ef­forts to em­ploy more women, said.

But­ler said the new 6,000m² line added an an­nual ca­pac­ity of 500,000 hec­tolitres to the cur­rent ap­prox­i­mately 1.8m hec­tolitre ca­pac­ity of Ib­hayi Brew­ery for 2018/2019.

“The full ca­pa­bil­ity of the new line is to pro­duce an ad­di­tional 1.8m hec­tolitres of beer per year, which would bring Ib­hayi Brew­ery’s an­nual ca­pac­ity to close on 3.6m hec­tolitres of beer when in full oper­a­tion,” he said.

“An­other 40 peo­ple are ex­pected to be em­ployed when the line op­er­ates at its full ca­pac­ity and vol­umes are in­creased over the com­ing years.”

He said the new line pro­duced the Cas­tle and Car­ling Black La­bel prod­ucts at a rate of 34,500 bot­tles an hour.

Pic­tures: WERNER HILLS

READY TO GO: The new pro­duc­tion line at the SAB Ib­hayi brew­ery in Per­se­ver­ance

KEEP­ING TRACK: An Ib­hayi Brew­ery em­ployee works on the re­cy­cling pack­ag­ing pro­duc­tion line

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