Johannesburg - South African Breweries (SAB) is deeply concerned by comments reportedly made by Gauteng economic development MEC Qedani Mahlangu
on Tuesday regarding the sale of liquor to unlicensed outlets.
"SAB does not sell liquor to unlicensed shebeens," the brewing group, part of SABMiller [JSE:SAB]
, said on Wednesday.
"SAB met with Ms Mahlangu in December last year to discuss a partnership to promote responsible trading in the liquor industry, and at no point did SAB indicate it sold liquor to unlicensed outlets.
"We are perplexed how Ms Mahlangu could have drawn that conclusion. SAB calls on her to correct these reported statements, which are without basis," the company said on Wednesday.
SAB added that it had a sophisticated computer system that prevented the sale of liquor to an outlet that did not have a valid licence or permit.
"No sales can take place outside this computer system. When an outlet requests vendor status with SAB, its licence or permit has to be provided and that licence or permit is then validated with the Liquor Board."Vincent Maphai
, SAB's corporate affairs and transformation director, said the company maintained its commitment to working with government and the authorities.
"During our meeting with Ms Mahlangu last December, it was jointly agreed that SAB and the Gauteng Department of Economic Development would work in partnership to promote responsible trading in the liquor industry in Gauteng. We remain committed to this partnership."
A key aspect of the partnership was to assist those unlicensed outlets that run their businesses responsibly to become legitimate licensed businesses, he added.
"SAB has long promoted the normalisation of the liquor industry. The company has a programme to assist targeted unlicensed outlets to become legitimate licensed businesses and normal members of the liquor trade."