400 miljoen bottels bier kan uitgegooi word

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Brouerye sê as hulle nie dringend in die volgende 24 uur toestemming kry om hulle voorraad te vervoer om geberg te word nie, gaan hulle ongeveer 132 miljoen liter voorraad ter waarde van R150 miljoen verloor.

Hier is die volledige persverklaring:

The Urgent Need for SAB to Transport Inventory to Storage Depots

SAB is respectfully requesting that it be allowed to transport packaged beer from its breweries to its storage depots for the sole purpose of protecting its inventory.  Urgent action is needed to avoid material financial losses to both the government and SAB, as well significant job losses.  

The lockdown regulations allow SAB to take steps to protect its inventory, which is all it is seeking to do here.  However, as a practical matter, SAB has been prevented from transporting inventory from its breweries to its depots for storage.         

This is NOT a request to reopen the trade and allow the sale of beer.  COVID-19 is a health crisis and an economic crisis.  This request concerns the latter, not the former.  Transporting inventory for storage poses negligible additional risk of transmission of COVID-19, and SAB is committed to take all steps necessary to mitigate this risk.      

Currently, SAB has ~132 million litres of beer – roughly the equivalent of 400 million bottles of beer – sitting in its tanks.  If SAB is not able to resume transporting inventory in the next 48 hours, it will be forced to discard this inventory, at a loss of an estimated R150m to SAB.    

The economic effects for the government would be even more severe.  The immediate loss to the government in excise tax would be ~R500m, as the State does not collect excise for unpacked beer.  This would literally be pouring that tax revenue down the drain, at a time when government – and the citizens of South Africa – have an urgent need for those funds.       

Longer term, the lost tax revenue would be much greater.  If SAB is forced to discard its current inventory, SAB will be prevented from operating at full capacity for at least four months.  With SAB losing capacity of ~400 million liters, the government stands to lose up to ~R2bn in excise tax.  This would cripple the ability of SAB and the beer industry more generally to function as a critical engine of economic recovery.       

This reduction in capacity will also mean material job losses.  If SAB has to discard its current inventory, the company would be forced to operate at about 50 percent capacity for four months.  This would mean the loss of about 2,000 jobs – half of SAB’s frontline workforce.  Another 75,000 jobs would be negatively impacted through the company’s domestic supply chain.

Finally, the disposal of such a significant amount of inventory will be a massive physical challenge (taking at least 20 weeks) and cause serious environmental risk.

Again, to be clear, this is NOT a request that has any bearing on the government’s current prohibition on sales and distribution of beer. 

This request is solely about moving product from breweries to depots to avoid material financial losses and protect jobs. All beer transported from the breweries to the depots will remain in lockdown, pursuant to government regulations.

SAB is of course prepared to cooperate fully with SAPS and take all reasonable steps to ensure that transportation of inventory is conducted in a safe and secure manner to mitigate transmission risk.

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