The South African Brewery (SAB) has officially launched R400 million state of the art production line in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape.
The line, which is operated predominantly by women, is reported to have already created dozens of jobs.
The R400 million state-of-the-art production line employs mainly women in order to address gender equity in the this industry.
The production line at the iBhayi Brewery in Port Elizabeth, can produce 36 000 bottles an hour. The investment has been made possible by South African Breweries and AB InBev Africa.
Brewery operations director in South Africa, Thuthuka Nxumalo, says more locals will benefit.
“The plan is, although now we only doubling the the capacity to 3.6 million hectors, should we continue to grow we will continue to invest in the local area. When we build lines like these we always look at recruiting people from the local area instead of fetching people from another province, I suppose I need a small number to run the line you need about 50 to 60 people and each line that we build we’ll be investing in additional jobs both in the production plants as well as warehouse.”
Eastern Cape Premier, Phumulo Masualle, says this comes at a time when the province is lagging behind economically.
“It comes across as showing confidence first, in the economy as a whole because investing means confidence and for us it also means job retention, and more jobs to be created and I think it comes in timely, given the very dire situation in respective of joblessness in our province so this is really a welcome move and we welcome it so much. And also we do note the possibility move in order to draw women into the work place.”
Eastern Cape Liquor Board CEO, Khanyile Maneli, says the board will continue to urge people to drink responsibly.
“In the Eastern Cape liquor board we’ve got a division that is responsible for awareness on the harmful effects of alcohol, that division is responsible to reach out across the country, and make sure that we drink legal and responsible. We’ve got other programmes that focus in underage drinking, in particularly in school.”
The SAB says the province has a vibrant manufacturing centre that can potentially create a gender balance in the industry.
Currently, the new plant has an average of 33% women and that number is anticipated to grow, as more plants are built in the province.