The South African Breweries (SAB) has welcomed the President’s announcement to move the country to Level 2 of the national lockdown and officially re-open the sale of alcohol beverages.
“We believe that opening up the economy and moving the country to alert Level 2 is an important move for our economy. Lifting of the prohibition on the sale of alcohol will come as a welcome relief for our business and industry, and the million livelihoods who depend on us. We fully understand that the situation requires vigilance and adherence to Covid-19 safety protocols, and we want to reassure our partners in government that we remain committed to supporting the national effort to curb the spread of this virus. We acknowledge and appreciate the balancing act between managing lives and livelihoods,” said Zoleka Lisa, Vice President of Corporate Affairs at SAB.
The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the country’s economy. It is now the imperative of all South Africans to participate in ensuring a sustainable and inclusive economic growth path. SAB, as one of South Africa’s largest corporate citizens sustaining a direct workforce of over 5 600 people, is looking forward to supporting the industry in contributing to the national economy. “Over one million livelihoods depend on the alcohol industry’s value chain, and 250 000 livelihoods depend on SAB alone. We are looking forward to reinitiating the process of job creation and responsible growth for the industry, with an ultimate objective of returning confidence to ensure sustainability for all these livelihoods,” stated Lisa.
Building on the recent NEDLAC Forum for Economic Recovery, where all social partners highlighted the grave nature of the economic challenge and the need to identify priority interventions, we are in full support of the President’s request to act urgently, and collectively, to move the economy forward. One of our key imperatives at SAB, as an almost 100% locally sourced business, is to play a leading role in this economic re-set, and to proactively drive the acceleration of the nation’s capability through our continued localisation of production and local procurement interventions, which are essential components to job creation.
“We must now focus on economic recovery as we chart our way into the future. The resumption of responsible trade is essential and we look forward to participating with our all social and economic partners, both small and large, in this essential redress for the benefit of our employees, all other stakeholders and our national economy.”
Lisa said that although times are challenging, SAB’s purpose of bringing people together for a better world has not changed. “Our beers are to be enjoyed moderately and responsibly and therefore we do not condone reckless behaviour of any kind, especially as we fight to contain the spread of this virus. SAB, along with the rest of the alcohol industry, has come together to affirm its commitment to partnering with the government to create a social compact for driving positive behavioural change regarding the use and consumption of alcohol. We are hopeful that this is the beginning of a new era for the industry’s partnership with government and in the spirit of inclusiveness, we can ensure a positive and beneficial impact for all stakeholders into the future.”