South African Breweries (SAB) plans to cut about 500 of its 5,700 workers in South Africa, representing about 8% of its staff according to information revealed by The Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu). In 2019 SAB already laid off 33 people. When SABMiller was swallowed by AB InBev in 2016, the company agreed not to embark on mass retrenchments for five year.
“SAB confirms that it is currently in the process of reviewing its business operations in light of the prevailing economic conditions in South Africa. The review, which is in line with the October 2016 merger conditions, will affect only a small minority of its workforce in specific areas and not across the business as a whole,” said Refilwe Masemola, Director External Communications: Africa Zone at AB InBev Africa and SA.
“2020 marks SAB’s 125th anniversary, and the company remains committed to its long-term prospects in South Africa. Businesses need to constantly adapt to change to maintain efficient, sustainable and competitive organisations,” said Masemola.
“The company is simply looking to please shareholders by declaring higher dividends and we will fight this through the CCMA [The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration] as well as other processes,” said Fawu deputy general secretary Mayoyo Mngomezulu in an interview with Business Report. “Job security was part of the conditions put in place by the competition commission during the 2016 merger and now the group want to cut jobs.”