Founded in 1895, the South African Breweries (SAB) is the South African subsidiary and historical birthplace of SABMiller plc, one of the world’s largest brewers by volume with more than 200 brands and brewing interests and distribution agreements in 75 countries across six continents.
SAB is South Africa’s premier brewer and leading distributor of beer and soft drinks. For over 115 years SAB has been an integral part of the social fabric of our country and continues to play a crucial role in the national economy.
The company operates seven breweries and 40 depots in South Africa with an annual brewing capacity of 3.1 billion litres. Its portfolio of beer brands meets the needs of a wide range of consumers and includes five of the country’s top six most popular beer brands – namely Carling Black Label, Hansa Pilsener, Castle Lager, Castle Lite and Castle Milk Stout. Its full brand portfolio includes ten beers and five flavoured alcoholic beverages.
SAB’s soft drinks division is Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI), one of the largest producers and distributors of Coca-Cola brands in the southern hemisphere. With five state-of-the-art manufacturing plants in South Africa, ABI accounts for approximately 60% of Coca-Cola’s sales in South Africa.
As well as its beer and soft drink divisions, SAB also owns a hop production company, The South African Breweries Hop Farms (Pty) Ltd; a barley farming company, The South African Breweries Barley Farms (Pty) Ltd; a barley malting company, The South African Breweries Maltings (Pty) Ltd; and a 60% share of the metal crown manufacturer, Coleus Packaging (Pty) Ltd.
SAB employs nearly 9,400 people, more than 75% of whom are from previously disadvantaged groups, and 58% of its workers are black. In addition SAB’s operations support an estimated 37,095 jobs at SAB’s first round suppliers. For each job offered by SAB and its first round suppliers, 6.7 additional jobs are supported in the rest of the South African economy. In all 355,000 full time jobs in South Africa can directly or indirectly be traced back to the production of SAB’s products.
As South Africa’s leading brewer, SAB is committed to promoting responsible alcohol behaviour – both inside and outside the company. As a subsidiary of SABMiller plc, it subscribes to the Group’s Alcohol Framework and has a comprehensive Code of Commercial Communication in place. SAB also actively seeks to encourage collaboration across the areas of education, access to information, law enforcement and parental involvement to encourage responsible alcohol behaviour.
SAB adopted its first equity strategy as early as 1971 and has been a leading agent for change in South Africa. In 2009, SAB tabled its ground-breaking broad-based black economic empowerment transaction, SAB Zenzele, valued at R7.3 billion.
Through its various corporate social responsibility programmes, SAB actively invests in community partnerships, socio-economic and enterprise development initiatives to build a stronger South Africa.