BUSINESS OF BEVERAGES
R438M NEW PRODUCTION LINE
SOUTH African Breweries (SAB) and AB InBev Africa yesterday launched a R438 million production line at its Ibhayi Brewery based in Port Elizabeth. The multimillion-rand investment is over and above the Public Interest Commitments (PICs) made by AB InBev to the South African government at the time of its business combination with SABMiller at the end of 2016. The PICs involve AB InBev investing R1 billion in South Africa over the next five years in the areas of agriculture, entrepreneurship and societal benefits. Zone president at SAB and AB InBev Africa, Ricardo Tadeu, said: “Fixed investment, which leads to confidence, is one of the key components needed to drive economic growth in a country. In turn, 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 South Africa and this commitment has been accelerated through the investment at Ibhayi Brewery. It is an important vote of confidence in the beer category and the South African economy at large.” There are now two production lines at the Port Elizabeth-based brewery. Tadeu said the new line had created employment for 14 people, mostly women, who operate the line over several shifts. Another 40 people were expected to be employed when the line operates at its full capacity and volumes are increased over the coming years. “Ibhayi Brewery now employs a total of 152 people. This investment will empower our employees to do what they do best,” said Tadeu.