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SAB, Isanti Glass celebrate transformation, empowerment strides

SAB corporate affairs VP Zoleka Lisa; Isanti Glass chairperson Shakes Mtiwaza; Trade, Industry and Competition Deputy Minister Fikile Majola; Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi; Kwande Capital non-executive director Deon Dhlomo; and SAB CEO Richard Rivett-Carnac celebrate the partnership between SAB and Isanti Glass

Photo by Creamer Media's Darren Parker

11th July 2023

By: Darren Parker

Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online

     

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Alcoholic beverage maker South African Breweries (SAB) and South Africa’s first majority black-owned glass container manufacturer Isanti Glass marked three years of partnership at a commemorative event on July 11.

The event, which was hosted at Isanti’s manufacturing facility in Roodekop, Johannesburg, was attended by Trade, Industry and Competition Deputy Minister Fikile Majola and Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, in addition to senior SAB and Isanti executives, and served to commemorate the economic growth initiative aimed at empowering the glass industry. 

“We believe that by promoting black industrialisation we are changing the economic fortunes in the country – something that is very important to us. The Isanti Glass initiative is a strong example of a successful partnership that provides black-owned entities access to markets around the country,” Majola said.

In 2019, packaging company Nampak entered into a sale agreement for the sale of its glass business for an estimated R1.5-billion as a going concern to Isanti Glass, which is 35% owned by SAB and 60%-owned by investment group Kwande Capital, with the balance held by Isanti employees. This makes Isanti one of only two primary glass container manufacturers in South Africa servicing beverage and food manufacturers, with an estimated market share of 25%.

The transaction created the first majority black-owned glass manufacturer in South Africa, which formed part of SAB’s efforts to deliver on its commitment to government to convert all its existing suppliers in line with the country’s transformational goals.

“This is the right step towards supporting transformation, broadening economic participation and growing the Gauteng economy,” Lesufi said.

The other major glass packaging manufacturer in South Africa, Consol, was acquired by Luxembourg-based Ardagh for about R10-billion in 2021, leaving Isanti as the only locally-owned and operated glass packaging manufacturer in South Africa.

“We are proud to have successfully partnered with the first-ever black industrialists in the glass industry. Our journey began four years ago when the industry was in decline.

“Collaborating with Kwande Capital and being able to turn around the business has been especially rewarding. Today, our value chain stands stronger and is more productive thanks to their ongoing commitment,” SAB CEO Richard Rivett-Carnac said at the event.

“Initiatives such as this play a critical part in building the South African economy. To achieve growth, partnerships are essential,” Isanti Glass chairperson Shakes Mtiwaza added.

As much as 50% of Isanti’s glass products are recycled, which contributes to SAB’s circular packaging commitment through the use of broken glass – or cullet – in its glass containers.

Rivett-Carnac said that driving transformation was important to SAB, as it was as an opportunity to strengthen the company’s supply chain and create a more sustainable and inclusive beverage industry.

Since 2022, SAB has invested more than R3-billion in returnable packaging supply chain transformation, with more than 30 000 retailers being supported through the company’s responsible trading programme.

In addition, more than R200-million has been invested into the SAB Thrive Fund, which is aimed at supporting local supplier and enterprise development. The company spends more than R20-billion a year on procurement, with more than 70% of that going towards Level 1 to 4 broad-based black economic empowerment companies.

Through the SAB Foundation, the company has also invested R632-million to support 6 422 entities that have collectively employed 15 314 people, created 10 384 new jobs, sustained 5 335 jobs and impacted 61 256 livelihoods, Rivett-Carnac said.

“Localisation is equally as important, and our intention is to continue partnering with black industrialists and local small, medium-sized and microenterprises in our value chain to accelerate growth and transformation in the communities in which we operate,” he added.

The event was held to bring public and private stakeholders together to show their ongoing support for such economic initiatives as the establishment of Isanti, which serves not only SAB but other beverage makers, including beer, soft drinks, wine, spirit and food processors.

“A conducive and enabling environment is vital for business and economic growth. For us this partnership is a great example of how big business can use the strength of its procurement to transform industries and positively contribute to society,” Rivett-Carnac said.

SAB has committed to investing R5.8-billion in South Africa this year, as announced at the fifth yearly South African Investment Conference held in April.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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