BULAWAYO, March 19 (The Source) – Bulawayo City Council’s Ingwebu Breweries has set up a plant to manufacture non-alcoholic products and has obtained regulatory approvals to launch them, general manager Nkosana Ndlovu has said.
Early last year, the company announced plans to set up the plant to diversify income streams from its traditional beer offering, but failed to raise the $500,000 needed for the project.
It however, successfully set up the plant late last year after recording a ‘small profit’ and started production in February.
Ndlovu said Ingwebu initially held back production until it had satisfied regulatory obligations.
On Thursday he told The Source that the non-alcoholic sorghum mahewu was already in the market and that the company was happy about the market response.
“The product is already in the market but production levels will be adjusted according to the increase in demand. We plan to officially launch it in due course,” Ndlovu said.
Acting town clerk Sikhangele Zhou this week told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works and National Housing that Ingwebu was not yet remitting dividends to council.
“Ingwebu has been facing viability challenges and has not paid any dividend to the City of Bulawayo since 2004,” she said.
“Since dollarisation, they have not paid any dividend for certain. They started off on a loss-making note and last year they made a small profit, which they used to recapitalise.”
Diversification follows local trends after Delta Beverages introduced Shumba Maheu in 2012 while Dairibord introduced Pfuko/Udiwo brand last year.