By Qondile Ntiwane | 2020-06-30
Eswatini Beverages will be able to import raw materials and further export their products for the duration of the alcohol ban.
This option is viewed in light of future opportunities that can be attained in relation to product market diversification.
The development follows a virtual meeting between the government of the Kingdom of Eswatini, the regional team of Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB-Inbev) and the leadership of Eswatini Beverages following the ban of alcohol in the kingdom for the next two months.
The virtual meeting was between Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini and Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Manqoba Khumalo while the regional team was led by Ricardo Moreita, the President of the Africa Zone, Zoleka Lisa Vice President Corporate Affairs SA, Andrew Murray Vice President Finance, Eswatini Beverages Country Director Bridget Makhura and Head of Legal and Corporate Affairs Mphumelelo Makhubu.
Minister Khumalo said yesterday that the aim of the meeting was to discuss contingency plans to circumvent revenue and job losses in view of the pronounced ban of alcohol wholesale and distribution for the next two months.
“His Excellency the Prime Minister explained in detail government’s position regarding protection of investment at present and post COVID-19.
He also had the opportunity to give highlights of the Post COVID–19 Economic Recovery Plan,” he said.
The minister added the president of the Africa Zone appealed for a shorter period of the ban while pledging social corporate responsibility that the company can provide to curb the spread of the pandemic.
He said the president further pledged the company’s intentions of expansion in future to provide more employment for EmaSwati and further contribute through tax revenues.
“AB-Inbev committed to preserve the employment of Emaswati during this time by embarking on an export strategy to the Southern African region,” he said.
The minister highlighted that the meeting was a follow up to an engagement held between himself and the Eswatini Beverages local team in the presence of the Director Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Mluleki Dlamini where mitigation options were explored and government committing to work with Eswatini Beverages
“Government wishes to thank AB-Inbev and Eswatini Beverages for their valuable support during such a difficult period,” he said.
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