The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) will on Thursday, 21 September 2017 host the Liquor Industry Transformation Seminar at the Development Bank of Southern Africa in Midrand where discussions on transformation within the sector and its impact on the South African economy will be take place.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies says the rationale to host this seminar was triggered by the slow pace of transformation experienced within the liquor sector and compliance challenges on provisions regarding Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) as outlined in the B-BBEE Act and sector codes.
“Studies we have commissioned reveal that we have on our hands an industry that is characterised by a few large and dominant companies that are characterised by high levels of both horizontal and vertical integration, but our smaller players struggle to make an impact or even survive in this landscape,” says Davies.
Davies adds that he hopes that the outcomes that will emerge from the seminar will aid in the promotion of economic transformation so as to enable for inclusive and meaningful participation of black people in the mainstream economy of the country.
The Acting Deputy Director-General of the Consumer and Corporate Regulation at the dti, Mr Macdonald Netshitenzhe points out that even though there has been a gradual increase in the issuing of liquor licenses to black role-players, a significant change in equity has been found to still be lacking.
“The number of active and viable registrants with a turnover in the million-rand bracket is still predominantly white. The business model of black registrants appears to be distributing into taverns and shebeens with none venturing into wine manufacturing, importing and exporting as compared to their white counterparts,” says Netshitenzhe.
Netshitenzhe adds that he would like to see black entrants making inroads into wine manufacturing and importing and exporting for a change.
The seminar aims to create a platform where stakeholders will discuss areas of challenges regarding transformation in the sector, it will also advance for support for small enterprises within the liquor industry for growth and sustainability and strengthen relations between government and the liquor industry.