SAB’s transformation work goes back to as early as 1971, way before transformation was legislated. Ever since work in transformation has grown exponentially, and over the years has come to include a number of different programmes. One of the largest single programmes to date is the R10 billion SAB Zenzele, a BBB-EE programme which seeks to address historical imbalances in access to ownership.
SAB has announced that it is preparing to wind down SAB Zenzele. The scheme would have generated almost R14bn in net value for beneficiaries at the end of its 10-year investment period in April 2020.
Since its inception in 2010, SAB Zenzele has disbursed a total of R4bn in cash dividends to its three shareholder groups.
The B-BBEE deal transferred 8.45% of ownership of SAB shares to more than 40 000 shareholders. Beneficiaries of the scheme are the SAB Zenzele Employee Trust, which holds shares for the benefit of SAB employees; SAB Zenzele Holdings, which holds shares for the benefit of black beer and soft drink retailers; and the SAB Foundation Trust, which supports entrepreneurship projects to benefit low-income communities.
Two women tavern owners in Tembisa, Johannesburg, Nomthandazo Jane Makhanya of Gettie’s Tavern and Joyce Mukhari of Ma-Joyce’s tavern, are among those who benefitted from SAB Zenzele scheme. Both hold shares in the SAB Zenzele scheme, and with dividends have been able to improve their businesses.
Makhanya inherited her tavern when her mother passed away in 2005. When she heard of the SAB Zenzele scheme, she decided to invest what she could afford at the time, which was R5 000. The dividends she received over the years has helped her to improve her home and to help her children. She re-invests 80% of her dividends in an interest-bearing bank account and has instilled in her family the idea of investing in shares.
“We now know how to invest,” she says.
Before running a tavern, Mukhari was employed as a secretary, but she wanted to be her own boss. Just like Makhanya, SAB helped her with securing a licence for her tavern.
Over the years, her business faced several challenges. At times, she was unable to secure stock, or had to take out loans to pay for her stock.
“I was not sure whether I should close it down or leave it open. People came forward with offers to take over my business. They offered to pay me monthly, but I had failed and risen with this business tirelessly,” says Mukhari.
When she was offered the opportunity to invest in the SAB Zenzele share scheme in 2010, she was initially very wary. She says she had no knowledge at all about what shares were. However, she ended up buying shares for about R2 500.
When I saw the results, I don’t want to lie, I am still happy today,” she says of receiving her dividends from SAB Zenzele.
“Because of Zenzele, I was able to prosper.” She no longer needs to take out loans to buy stock. “I buy in cash and I owe no one.”
She is thinking of buying herself a bakkie when the SAB Zenzele scheme matures in April next year and she receives her part of the scheme’s value. With previous Zenzele dividends, she was able to help her daughter secure a code 10 driver’s licence. When she receives her final dividends, she plans to enrol her daughter in a book-keeping course so she can help with the business.
“Looking back at SAB Zenzele’s 10-year track record, it is inspiring to see what has been achieved,” says Andrew Murray, VP Finance, SAB and AB InBev Africa. “From the outset, SAB Zenzele sought to be genuinely broad-based and to deliver real economic benefits to the lives of thousands of South Africans. On behalf of the company, I am very proud of the degree to which SAB Zenzele delivers against this initial objective.”
In addition to the cash dividends paid out to date, beneficiaries’ participation rights will be transferred into shares in AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, at the end of the 10-year transaction period. “Beneficiaries will have a tangible stake in the global business so when, for example, a Corona is sold in Mexico, a Budweiser in the US or a Castle Lager in Johannesburg, they will own a piece of that profit,” says Murray.