Heineken South Africa has been forced to completely shut down production as the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with stringent lockdown restrictions on the restaurant sector and bar trade have taken their toll on the industry.
Heineken South Africa has also canceled R6 billion production plans to expand its operations onto the North Coast, the Inyaninga site near Dube TradePort had been earmarked for its new brewery.
The expansion project was expected to create 400 permanent new jobs and make many more service-related employment opportunities available.
The company said with no end date in sight for the ban on alcohol sales, executive salaries had been cut by 20% from May to December and no bonuses would be paid.
The Heineken portfolio includes eight brands:
Heineken, Amstel, Windhoek, Sol, Miller Genuine Draft, Strongbow Cider, Soweto Gold and Tafel.
Meanwhile, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has defended the government’s decision to reimpose the alcohol ban.
She said the government has no desire to leave the alcohol ban in place longer than necessary.
Adding that government will re-evaluate the country’s alcohol ban on a regular basis.
Dlamini-Zuma was responding to court case papers by the Southern African Agri Initiative (Saai).
Saai wants the court to repeal a section 44(1) and (2) of the new regulations to allow wine to be served on wine farms and in restaurants.
The South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba), the Beer Association of South Africa, Vinpro, and the Liquor Traders Association of South Africa have also warned that restricting legal alcohol sales will lead to the growth of illicit alcohol trade.