In light of the extraordinary damage inflicted by flooding in KwaZulu-Natal, the South African Breweries (SAB) has pledged to donate towards assisting with relief efforts. Although SAB’s Prospecton brewery in Durban was affected by the flooding, SAB says these funds will go directly to relief efforts for the local community.
Vice President of Corporate Affairs at SAB, Zoleka Lisa, says, “Like most of the nation, we are shocked by sheer scale of this tragedy that unfolded so quickly. This province has always remained close to our hearts. Our Prospecton Brewery has been the soul of our operations in KwaZulu-Natal since 1974, which also suffered major damage due to flooding. Our team on the ground remains resilient in the face of this crisis and we have big plans for this brewery’s future despite the infrastructural setback.”
The bulk of SAB’s donation (R500 000) will be offered by the Castle Lager brand to Gift of the Givers through Business Unity SA. “Gift of the Givers are on the ground right now making sure donations go directly to the people who need them most in a way that matters most. Dr Imtiaz Sooliman and his people have always been South Africa’s greatest champions and we fully support them in any way we can in this endeavour.”
Considering SAB’s nationwide value chain, and the businesses who form a key part of this downstream value, SAB will be donating funds to the KwaZulu-Natal Liquor Board. As many liquor trading businesses have been devastated by the floods, this donation will be handed out in the form of food parcels to all those who depend on these establishments to survive – i.e. owners, workers and their families.
“At SAB we have always placed community as a central pillar of our operations. When disaster strikes, it is this commitment to community that truly needs to shine. We hope to prove ourselves to our employees and our communities in KwaZulu-Natal in these trying times,” says Lisa.
From an operational perspective, Raidah Vaid, Plant Manager at SAB’s Prospecton Brewery says all teams have proudly returned to site to help piece the Brewery back together. “Seeing the determination and teamwork in action to get us back on our feet has been truly heart-warming. Just like after the July looting, it is the resilience of our people that will ensure we overcome this challenge and rise again to be the best Brewery.”
As the Brewery gets back up and running, Lisa says SAB will continue its plans to channel R650m into the expansion of the brewery. She says SAB believes in the enormous potential this operation can play for the business and for the province. The Prospecton Brewery expansion will include a new Flavoured Alcohol Beverage Blending Plant, which will bring with it direct full-time employment for 56 people with new skills development drives aimed at upskilling workers on new processes.
“While we are all deeply saddened by the recent devastation and aim to do all we can to help those affected, we are also proud of our teams for exuding the resilience and spirit that has always underpinned our efforts in South Africa. An exciting future lies before us as we invest in the potential and capability of our operations in this province. Prospecton brewery and KwaZulu-Natal has always been a bastion of our business, and we are proud to put the community first in everything we do.”
Lisa implores business and citizens alike to do all they can for the flood survivors by donating to Gift of the Givers.