SAB truck drivers deliver condoms to taverns

Sixteen thousand local South African taverns will receive their share of more than 845 million condoms to be distributed by the South African Breweries Limited (SAB) over the next five years.

This will be undertaken in terms of a public private partnership between SAB, the National Department of Health (NDoH), the South African Business Coalition on HIV/Aids (SABCOHA) and the Society of Family Health (SFH), which will assist in extending the distribution reach to non-traditional outlets.

SAB is using its existing infrastructure and extensive distribution footprint to deliver condoms to the local taverns the company serves across South Africa. SAB's 40 distribution depots are used as primary distribution sites where condom stock is stored and collected by SAB truck drivers for distribution during their scheduled delivery run.

SAB cares about communities

"SAB cares about the negative impact that the spread of HIV/Aids is having on the stability of the country's communities and on our consumers and ultimately, economic development. It is for this reason that we have committed ourselves towards the fight against the pandemic," says Hepsy Mkhungo, SAB Head Social Investment.

The reduction of HIV/Aids is one of SAB's top ten Sustainable Development priorities and is aligned to the success and sustainability of the business.

While SAB, as a leading responsible corporate citizen, takes progressive and bold steps to improve society, it believes that positive results can only be achieved by forming critical partnerships with government and other relevant organisations and individuals.

The partnership between SAB and the Department of Health is an important example of how government and the private sector can work together to deliver a meaningful impact.

500 condoms avert 1 infection

"No single individual or organisation will effect change. We all have a role to play and we need to utilise our expertise and resources to make a difference," says Mkhungo. SAB's distribution of 845 million condoms is expected to assist in averting more than 1.6 million new HIV infections over the next five years.

A study by John Stover, who is the founder and president of Futures Institute, claims that for every 500 condoms distributed, at least one new infection was averted. This indicates that condoms are highly effective in protecting individuals against contracting HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI's).

Prior to the role out of the national condom distribution programme throughout its distribution network, SAB conducted a pilot phase of the programme at three of its depots based in Gauteng over a period of three months.

Initiative well received

Over this period, the depots, Denver, Soweto and Isando, distributed a total of 1.8 million condoms to more than 3000 taverns. An assessment of the pilot indicated that the initiative was well-received amongst depots, truck drivers, tavern owners and taverners, who all believe it will have a positive impact on communities into the future.

Currently, each tavern receives two boxes of 400 condoms in total per month and some taverns have requested that additional stock be delivered because of the overwhelming positive response. Twelve SAB depots have implemented the programme and are operating as Primary Distribution Sites. At least 5.8 million condoms have already been distributed to 3700 taverns.

A further seven depots will implement the initiative in February 2012 and another intake will take place in August 2012.

(Sapa, October 2011)

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