Heineken's KZN expansion on ice, but investment in Sedibeng brewery continues
Heineken remains South Africa's top beer brand according to the Sunday Times Top Brands survey.
Its Sedibeng brewery outside Johannesburg produces local favourites like Amstel, Windhoek and of course Heineken.
The Money Show finds out how the lockdown booze ban affected the Amsterdam-based company's expansion plans in South Africa.
Bruce Whitfield interviews Gerrit van Loo, managing director of Heineken South Africa.
There's no question that local investment will continue, he says.
We made that commitment to the president in our statement last year in November and we execute it!Gerrit van Loo, Managing director - Heineken South Africa
We had to come finally to the situation where all the beers we are selling in South Africa are also produced in South Africa - that makes a lot of sense because of flexibility and because it is cheaper to produce it here.Gerrit van Loo, Managing director - Heineken South Africa
During the hard lockdown the production and sale of beer was banned - did van Loo ever wonder if it was all worth it?
Heineken is a company that is family-owned and we are over 150 years old. We have survived a period like the Second World War etcetera, so a 16-week lockdown is financially terrible... but fortunately we have a very long-term view.Gerrit van Loo, Managing director - Heineken South Africa
Indeed the alcohol lockdown was severe but we also have to be cognisant of the fact that it looks relatively under control and we are happy to be able to trade again when we see that places in Europe are going into a second lockdown!Gerrit van Loo, Managing director - Heineken South Africa
He's hopeful that thanks to responsible drinking and behaviour by South Africans, Heineken will be able to continue trading.
Van Loo says plans to expand into KwaZulu-Natal are "in the cooler" for now.
Listen to the conversation in the audio below:
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