The challenges facing South African Breweries (SAB) when the new Liquor Act is implemented.
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South African Breweries-Beer Division referred to as SAB, is a subsidiary of SABMiller plc. SAB manufacture, market and distribute alcoholic beverages and alcoholic fruit beverages (AFB's) throughout Southern Africa. Their strategy is to drive volume and productivity in major markets, optimise and expand market positions, seek value-adding opportunities to enhance their position as a global brewer and grow their brands in the international premium segment (http://www.SABMiller.com/pdfs/SABMiller%20Factsheet%20Update%20Feb%202004.pdf). However, the current Liquor Act (Liquor Act No. 27 of 1989) is being revised and is under going many changes. It makes provisions for shebeens, retail chain stores, petrol stations and supermarkets to become licensed to trade in alcoholic products. The imminent changes are meant to promote the development of a responsible and sustainable liquor industry in a manner that facilitates the entry of new participants (http://www.saccct.org.za/liguorpres.html). "One of the key issues for discussion as the provinces' drafted legislation for the retail licenses was how to encourage the normalisation of illegal retailers, or shebeens. An estimated 200 000 shebeens are currently outside the regulatory net," said Deputy director-general Astrid Ludin (http://business.iafrica.com/news/260060.htm). Given the above, it is estimated that the customer database of SAB will increase substantially. This study concentrates solely on shebeens as "the entry of new participants". Will SAB be adequately prepared to meet and satisfy their customer demands and operational obligations? Will they be adequately resourced or do they start planning now? Do they have anything to worry about? This study investigates SAB's readiness to service a substantially increased customer base.