The new plant is more than three times the size of the current 48-year-old Alrode plant situated in Alberton, East of Johannesburg, South Africa.
It will produce 130, 000 tons of malted barley each year and this capacity could be raised in the next couple of years to meet expected surge in demand from the group’s African operations.
As Africa’s economic growth is expected to shoot the lights out in the next decade, beer consumption is expected to increase with the growth of the middle class in the continent.
South Africa and neighbour Namibia need 300 000 tons of barley every year and presently the shortage is being imported at expensive prices from unstable global markets.
The brewer obtains its barley from 378 Western Cape farmers, 162 commercial farmers and 97 Northern Cape emerging farmers.
The construction of the new plant will certainly benefit South African commercial farmers and emerging farmers in line with the country’ black economic empowerment (BEE) policies.
Mzwandile Jacks has been a financial journalist for more than 20 years. He has worked full time for the Sowetan, The Lowvelder, Mpumalanga News, Business Day, Primedia Publishing, Finance Week, This Day, Financial Mail and Business Report. His articles have also been published in The New Age, City Press, Fin 24 and many other niche magazines in the stable of Capemedia and Highbury Safika Media, both independent magazine publishers. He has covered Africa extensively while working for the above-mentioned publications. He studied journalism at the Peninsula Technikon in the Western Cape and Politics and English at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). He cites South Africa’s pioneering journalists like Aggrey Klaaste, Joe Thloloe, Mathatha Tsedu, Monk Nkomo and Len Maseko as his mentors. He was voted the best black financial journalist at Finance Week in 2002. Rikus Delport, the editor of Finance Week at the time, described him as “a top notch journalist of that time.”