South African Breweries job cuts: What we know so far_1

Just over a day since Stats SA showed an increase in job losses, one of South Africa’s most prominent companies has announced that it will cut around 500 jobs form its roster. 

South African Breweries (SAB) – currently under the AB InBev banner – will enter a second round of retrenchments in as many months after they let 33 staff members go in 2019. 

Unions vow to fight SAB retrenchments

The Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) told MoneyWeb that they had not anticipated the announcement. 

“This is just not on and we are going to fight this move by SAB…. We have no doubt that the planned retrenchments are in some way linked to the 2016 merger and that the group’s foreign owners want to cut jobs in order to maximise profits,” they said. 

“We will have to hear what they say at the CCMA, but we are not taking this lightly…. SAB currently employs around 5 700 workers in SA, which means if they eventually cut 500 jobs that’s about 8% of the group’s workforce in the country. We can’t afford any more job cuts both as a sector and as a country,” he said.

The company said that the retrenchments were a necessary evil if they wanted to continue operating in tough economic conditions. 

““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 SAB spokesperson Refilwe Masemola

On Tuesday, the Stats SA employment survey showed that retrenchments have been a trend among many of South Africa’s largest companies, with companies such as Telkom and Glencore rolling out retrenchment processes and loosing around 3 000 staff.