Around 130 million litres of beer produced by South African Breweries may go down the drain if the government does not grant the company permission to transport it to storage depots.
Cape Town – Around 130 million litres of beer produced by South African Breweries may go down the drain if the government does not grant the company permission to transport it to storage depots, according to SAB head of communications Refilwe Masemola.
The company has already taken a significant knock as the sale of alcohol is prohibited under the Disaster Regulations governing the national lockdown.
Masemola said that local storage facilities were close to capacity already with bottled stock. Because the production process took several weeks, the current lot which was nearing the end of the fermentation process may have to be dumped if SAB was not allowed to move the already bottled and packaged stock to storage depots to clear space.
If this did not happen soon, Masimola said, the company would be unable to store the newly finished batches of beer and this stock would then need to be dumped.
At the start of the national lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19, SAB had a number of batches of beer in various stages of fermentation and the movement of the batches to the different tanks was interrupted by the lockdown. This had placed some of the company’s product at risk, said Masemola.
Masemola stressed that SAB supported the lockdown and understood the reason for the prohibition on the sale of alcohol, and that the company just wanted permission to move its stock to prevent further losses.
“The lockdown means we as SAB are not able to produce, sell or distribute alcohol, so we have suffered an economical loss,” Masemola said.