Friday, January 22, 2021

‘Traditional beer regulations more harmful than alcohol levy’

The future of Botswana Breweries Limited hangs in the balance following Government’s decision to implement regulations that bar the sale of traditional liquor in the homesteads.

BBL is the arm of Kgalagadi Breweries Limited trading in traditional beer.

Denying BBL the market that trades from homes would cut off 65 percent of the company’s volumes.

According to the BBL Corporate Affairs Manager, Larona Makgoeng, only 11 percent of the company’s volumes is in licensed outlets while 26 percent is in depots which at this stage are unlicensed.
Makgoeng says when put into context and if fully implemented the regulations as they pertain to traditional beer may end up being more harmful than the alcohol levy, which almost brought KBL on its knees a few years ago.

Botswana Breweries Limited contributes about half of the Group’s earnings.

“The effects could be worse than those we experience during the levy. The situation would be compounded by the fact that with Chibuku we are dealing with a delicate product that has a very short shelf life,” said Makgoeng.

He said at the moment, the company is not yet sure of the extent to which they will have to restructure and cut down production levels.

“All we are saying is the sequence is clear; avail land, allow time for development and then license. Land is central to everything. There is no way to progress without land,” said Makgoeng.

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