Monday, January 17, 2022

KBL fears job losses on dampened Chibuku sales

The recent introduction of traditional beer regulations is already hitting Botswana Breweries Limited (BBL) hard. The impact is so severe that the brewer fears that it will be forced to shed off scores of workers in the long run to mitigate the impact of declining sales.

BBL is a subsidiary of the Botswana Stock Exchange-listed Sechaba Brewery Holdings Limited, which also owns Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL).

Speaking on the sidelines of the Ikgalemele Alcohol Abuse campaign in Francistown last week, the brewing group’s communications manager, Mokoro Ketsitlile, expressed fears of imminent job losses on the back of the consequent adverse impact caused by the introduction of the new traditional beer regulations, which has invariably led to plummeting sales.

“I have to admit that we have experienced a reduction in the sales volumes after the implementation of the new traditional beer regulations. The long term impact is clear as we have adopted a wait and see attitude. We certainly cannot rule out job losses in the future if the situation does not improve although we are trying everything possible to avert such eventuality and retain the jobs,” he said.

Five months into the new regulations, Ketsitlile is keeping his fingers crossed that the impact will be nothing out of proportion that his company cannot manage to contain.

One of the challenges that he raised is that KBL is currently facing an uphill battle to construct depots for traditional beer sellers due to unavailability of land.

He said that the P10 million that they pledged to help the traditional beer sellers with to build them depots is still lying idle as they are still battling to get land from government to build depots for traditional beer sellers.

“The construction of these depots by BBL will not happen anytime soon because the main challenge we have is the shortage of land and the issuing of licenses by government. We are still waiting for government to help us with the issue of land and licenses so that we can go ahead and establish depots for the beer traders,” he said.

He added that although they have managed to access some land from individuals, it is difficult to construct depots due to the various licensing requirements that have to be dispensed with first.
Despite the recorded impact, Ketsitlile said the regulations will go a long way in addressing alcohol abuse issues which are of a major concern to the general public.

“As KBL, we have to accept the fact that we have been affected by the new regulations, but one other issue that we should all bear in mind is that alcohol abuse continues to be a serious concern that is be-devilling the country. As KBL, we love our clients and we do not want a situation whereby our clients abuse our products. We also support government in the war against alcohol abuse,” he concluded.

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