BULAWAYO, September 3 (The Source) — Gweru City Council’s Go-Beer Breweries, is scouting for strategic partners to inject working capital and buy new equipment to restart its operations, one year after it was shutdown, the council said on Thursday.
The company, reeling under a $2, 6 million deficit, was shut down in July 2014 after it emerged that the liquor undertaking had been financially straining the already struggling local authority.
But the council has opted to revive the operations to widen its revenue streams and on Thursday invited proposals for strategic partners to inject cash for the maintenance of its plant, purchase of delivery trucks and a new bottle mould.
The revival would include the repair of two boilers, cooling towers and strainers, upgrading of effluent tanks and technology.
GCC said in a statement that Go-Beer has the capacity to produce 1, 2 million litres of traditional beer per month and has established markets in the Midlands and Bulawayo provinces.
A compulsory site visit for potential investors would be held on September 18, said the local authority.
To increase its revenue streams, the council in February this year proposed to convert the idle mayoral mansion — which has been lying idle since 2004 — into a lodge.
Last November, the council announced a $49 million budget for this year anchored but noted that it had only raised $24 million last year, 27 percent lower than its $33 million budget as defaults spiked.
The council last year said it had acquired rights to extract quarry in a bid to increase revenue and support its road construction projects.
In trying to revive Go-Beer, Gweru is also leasing out six of its outlets dotted around the country and could reemploy some of the company’s workers who were sent on unpaid leave when it was closed.
The workers had also gone for years without being paid.
Last year the messenger of court attached 300 cattle belonging to Go-Beer to settle outstanding salary arrears while the Local Authorities Pension Fund took the company to court over an estimated $200,000 debt.
LAPF claimed Go-Beer had not been remitting workers’ pension contributions since 2010.