Brewing multinational Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev has worked hard over the past year to meet its public interest commitments following the business combination with SAB in late 2016, SAB and AB InBev Africa zone president Ricardo Tadeu said in a statement on Wednesday.
The public interest commitments include a R1-billion investment over five years in the areas of agriculture (R610-million), enterprise and supplier development (R200-million) and societal benefits (R190-million), reinforcing a transformation agenda across the business.
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 AB InBev supply chain.
Collectively, they offer a comprehensive and holistic package of entrepreneurship support to develop small businesses from idea 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.”
Further, in mid-2017, AB InBev 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 an hour packaging line for returnable glass bottles, adding a total of four-million hectolitres of capacity a year. The equipment, ordered in December 2016, has taken six months to build in Germany. The packaging lines can produce 660 ml and 750 ml 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 m2. In addition to having 400 workers per site at the peak of construction, four-million new plastic crates and 48-million locally produced new returnable glass bottles have been ordered by AB InBev.
Meanwhile, AB InBev Africa has committed to establishing thriving barley, hops, maize and malt industries in South Africa that strengthen rural employment and job creation, accelerate the development of emerging farmers and enable South Africa to become a net exporter of hops and malt by 2022.
Efforts have been made to grow the local agricultural sector by strengthening rural employment and job creating and accelerating the development of emerging farmers. Further, several societal investments are planned such as disability learnerships, bursaries, water, waste and solar, school sports programmes and environmental education projects.
In addition, South Africa’s technological and innovation base will be strengthened to improve the productivity of emerging and commercial farmers and create new business opportunities. The company will invest R610-million during this period in developing the capacity of new emerging and commercial farmers and increase the amount of local barley that is malted. The strategic intent is to create at least 2 600 new farming jobs in South Africa, said Tadeu.
“The business combination has brought together significant intellectual synergies, enabling us to share and integrate the best practices of both companies. The combined organisation continues to build a global company to last for the next 100 years,” he adds.
Job creation is embedded in the company’s business strategy. 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 among 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.