Johannesburg - The City of Johannesburg and the world's leading brewer, Anheuser-Busch (AB Inbev, on Wednesday announced a historic multi-million rand partnership to accelerate local socio-economic transformation.
Ab InBev has committed an initial R50m over five years into the partnership formed as a Public Interest Programme designed to boost enterprise development and implement an effective alcohol abuse outreach programme.
The City and AB InBev also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to rubber-stamp the common commitment to accelerate socio-economic transformation in the lives of the people of Johannesburg, alongside the alcohol abuse outreach programme. The agreement is subject to the successful completion on the proposed business combination between AB InBev and SAB Miller [JSE:SAB].
AB InBev Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs, Scott Ratzan described the partnership as a demonstration of the brewer’s commitment to investing in public health and the development of the Johannesburg economy in the long-term.
"We are very excited by the prospect of working with the City of Johannesburg to promote alcohol harm reduction and enterprise development. This reflects our wider commitment to making a positive contribution to the South African economy and society as part of our proposed combination with SABMiller," he said.
"AB InBev and the City of Johannesburg seek to combine the commercial ability of the brewer to develop enterprise opportunities within our own value chain. This will be combined with the City’s capacity to mobilise, screen and bridge the skills and capabilities of young entrepreneurs and micro-franchisees in particular, with complementary capacity that will be targeting older working age residents," said Ratzan.
Shortly after the MOU signing ceremony attended by representatives from various local community-based enterprises.
City of Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau said: 'The signed agreement comes after due extensive engagements between AB InBev and various City departments on the best way to implement the Public Interest Programme."
"We dually welcome AB InBev interest and commitment to the development of the lives of the people of Johannesburg. The partnership speaks to the vision of the JOBURG Growth and Development Strategy 2040 to build an inclusive economy, which demonstrates our shared interest to redress inequities in local economic opportunities,” Tau said.