Cape Town – SAB has briefed Parliament’s portfolio committee on economic development on its progress in meeting the conditions for its merger with global brewery giant AB InBev, saying its commitment to business transformation and development has not fizzled out since the tie-up.
In 2016, SABMiller and AB InBev wrapped up a deal which would create the largest beer producer in the world. AB InBev then became SAB’s holding company, and SAB would continue operating under its name in South Africa.
The Competition Commission assessed the transaction and approved it, under specific conditions. These included the protection of any South African workers from retrenchment, diversifying certain aspects of SAB’s business so small enterprises and localising the company’s product inputs.
SAB’s vice president of legal and corporate affairs in Africa, Doreen Kosi, told the portfolio committee that the company’s R1bn public interest commitments were not just a matter of complying with the Competition Commission’s conditions, but aimed at long-term business growth and sustained improvement of the lives of South Africans.
SAB and AB InBev Africa Director Sustainability and Entrepreneurship, Zoleka Lisa, said the company would invest R50m over five years to help build and support black, women and youth-owned enterprises through mentorship, marketing and market linkages.
She said another R150m would be spent on transforming SAB’s supply chain to assist in creating black industrialists and contribute towards job creation. She said the company would invest R190m over five years to support government the areas of water preservation and clean energy, waste management and other social upliftment programmes.
The SAB and AB InBev Africa director mergers and acquisitions , Richard Rivett-Carnac, said the company’s entrepreneurship support initiatives reached and supported 53 suppliers in 2017 alone. Companies grow to assist and supply to SAB’s local operations, he said.
SAB and AB InBev Africa director of raw materials and agricultural development , John Rogers, told the committee that the company’s agricultural development programme supported 351 farmers though the emerging grower social enterprise, FarmSol Africa.