Ing­webu Brew­eries hits hard times

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Aux­ilia Ka­ton­go­mara Busi­ness Re­porter

BULAWAYO City Coun­cil-owned Ing­webu Brew­eries is strug­gling to op­er­ate prof­itably and is not con­tribut­ing any rev­enue to the lo­cal author­ity, an of­fi­cial has re­vealed.

Ing­webu has been fac­ing vi­a­bil­ity prob­lems in the face of fall­ing de­mand for its prod­ucts and the high cost of op­er­at­ing its an­ti­quated ma­chin­ery.

Mr Isaac Matare the city’s act­ing re­search and con­tract man­ager told the busi­ness com­mu­nity Tues­day at a bud­get con­sul­ta­tive meet­ing that Ing­webu was not con­tribut­ing any div­i­dend to coun­cil.

“Ing­webu is a coun­cil baby but it is not con­tribut­ing any­thing to coun­cil. It is fac­ing stiff com­pe­ti­tion from Chibuku.

“It needs a mas­sive cap­i­tal in­jec­tion but coun­cil as the ma­jor stake­holder is not able to in­ject the needed cap­i­tal but peo­ple love the prod­uct,” said Mr Matare.

He was re­spond­ing to a ques­tion on whether coun­cil was gen­er­at­ing any rev­enue from the en­tity.

Mayor Coun­cil­lor Martin Moyo is on record say­ing the brew­ery re­quires $4 mil­lion to re­fur­bish its plant and in­crease its foot­print.

Last year Ing­webu com­mis­sioned a non-al­co­holic plant built at an es­ti­mated cost of $500 000, which man­u­fac­tures tra­di­tional ma­hewu, as part of a di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion strat­egy. The prod­uct has been well re­ceived in the mar­ket al­though there is stiff com­pe­ti­tion from, among oth­ers Delta Bev­er­ages, Arenel, Dairi­bord and im­ported ma­hewu mainly from Zam­bia.

Ing­webu used to be among the top em­ploy­ers in the city but has not been do­ing well since the adop­tion of the multi-cur­rency sys­tem in 2009.

Within the last few years the com­pany has re­trenched dozens of work­ers af­ter clos­ing sev­eral of its beer gar­dens scat­tered across the city be­fore fran­chis­ing the fa­cil­i­ties.

Mean­while, the coun­cil has pro­jected to gen­er­ate in­come of about $3 mil­lion from its prop­er­ties in the city.

e Bulawayo City Coun­cil is propos­ing a bud­get of $105 mil­lion com­pared to this year’s $107 mil­lion.

Pre­sent­ing the pro­posed bud­get, Mr Matare high­lighted that the top five pri­or­i­ties are wa­ter, health, sew­er­age, hous­ing, roads and ed­u­ca­tion.

The health depart­ment has the big­gest al­lo­ca­tion of $26 mil­lion in the pro­posed bud­get fol­lowed by rates and gen­eral ser­vices with $19 mil­lion.

The coun­cil of­fi­cials en­cour­aged res­i­dents and cor­po­rates ow­ing to seek di­a­logue with them to avoid lit­i­ga­tion and wa­ter dis­con­nec­tions.

The coun­cil will, how­ever, spend about 53 per­cent in staff costs, a de­vel­op­ment which has been cas­ti­gated by the Min­istry of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Pub­lic Works and Na­tional Hous­ing.

The Gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions de­mand that lo­cal au­thor­i­ties ad­here to the ra­tio of 70:30 in favour of ser­vice de­liv­ery.

Mr Matare said there would be no tar­iff in­creases next year, a move that would be wel­comed by res­i­dents.

Among the high­lights of the bud­get is the pro­posal to im­ple­ment a three per­cent ward re­ten­tion al­lo­ca­tion to carry out projects iden­ti­fied by res­i­dents.

The ward re­ten­tion al­lo­ca­tion comes at a time when the city coun­cil is owed $129 mil­lion by rate pay­ers.

Mr Matare said this was done to step up ef­forts to en­cour­age pay­ment of bills.

Act­ing deputy di­rec­tor of fi­nance Mr Mpaza­miso Nde­bele said the lo­cal author­ity would soon be in­tro­duc­ing wa­ter shed­ding as the dam lev­els had de­pleted.

“As at 24 July, our dams stood at 36, 27 per­cent com­pared to 52, 85 per­cent last year, which means that we would soon in­tro­duce wa­ter shed­ding,” said Mr Nde­bele.

He said work to re­ha­bil­i­tate fil­ters at Ncema dam was in progress to en­sure that res­i­dents get clean wa­ter.

The 2017 bud­get con­sul­ta­tions have been com­bined with the 2016 bud­get re­view, as the coun­cil strives to meet the 2017 bud­get sub­mis­sion dead­line, which is Oc­to­ber 28, 2016.

Ing­webu Brew­eries premises in Bulawayo

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.