SAB helps entrepreneurs affected by July unrests through its Foundation
The violent July unrest, which took place across Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, affected hundreds of businesses leaving them looted and damaged, with thousands more left jobless.
As a response to the July unrest, and with the intention to help restore the township economy, the South African Breweries (SAB) Foundation, in collaboration with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), has donated R17 million to 174 SAB customers who are liquor retail owners across the country. The donation will assist the owners rebuild their business and get back on track to economic recovery. The foundation has dispersed R9.9 million to date, with the remainder to be dispersed following due diligence by local teams.
Bridgit Evans, executive director of the SAB Foundation said that it was critical for the Foundation to invest in the growth and the development of the small medium micro enterprises including liquor retail owners. “As an organization, we are determined to collaborate and engage on meaningful measures that support the country’s much needed economic recovery”. To expedite the recovery of the liquor owners’ businesses, SAB will capacitate the owners with training, with the intention that they are more resilient in future.
The social unrest experienced in July hit the South African economy at a time when it was already grappling with the highest rate of unemployment the country has experienced, negatively impacting jobs and amplified structural weaknesses in the job market. “We are grateful to the IDC for their assistance. It was through their intervention that we were able to get many of the affected businesses up and running again and with great efficiency. This subsequently gave a boost to the township economy”, said Evans. Through the partnership with the IDC, a total number of 723 jobs were preserved.
Felicity Mathebe-Ramatlou, owner of Thebuza Liquor Store in Mamelodi, said: “When the Covid-19 crisis hit, our business suffered a lot; more so because of the bans on the sale of alcohol. The donation, from the SAB Foundation and IDC, will come in handy as it will help fix some of the physical damage caused during the unrest. The looting was a massive setback, as I have now been without an income for over three months. I will now be able to start afresh and continue with running my business.”
David McGluw, Head: Partnerships Programmes at the IDC, added that the July unrest did more than impact growth and job creation opportunities, but dented economic transformation in the country.
He said: “The objective has not only been to bring these businesses to full operation but ensure that jobs that had been lost, because of the unrest, have been restored and retained. Hence the funding interventions and funding packages that we devised post the unrest speak precisely to this objective.” To date, the IDC Post Unrest Business Recovery Fund has approved R1 798billion, disbursed R852 million and sustain an estimated 30 000jobs.
Christina Jonck, owner of Munster Bottle Store at Munster in KwaZulu-Natal concluded: “We are a small business in a space that is occupied by big players. So, you can imagine how grateful we are that SAB saw us and was willing to help us recover what was lost, fix the damage and paying salaries. Already, the door is fixed, and people cannot stop complementing it.”
Set up in 2010, the SAB Foundation is an independent trust that annually invests millions of rands towards developing entrepreneurship in South Africa for the benefit of the wider South African community