South African Breweries (SAB) is looking forward to working closely with the ailing Nelson Mandela Bay municipality in a bid to help it gain best practice skills for the benefit of its citizens.
The brewery giant’s undertaking came after the local government department, the metro and SAB on Tuesday made a commitment to strengthen the metro with a specific focus on water provision.
The relationship emanates from the Business Adopt-A-Municipality initiative which seeks to foster a closer working relationship between government, state-owned enterprises and the private sector in supporting local municipalities.
The partnership is based on a shared commitment among the role players towards development and a common interest in the sustainability of water, as well as other areas that can positively impact on communities and the business sector in terms of service delivery.
“There is a serious concern that deficient service delivery at this level impacts severely on the efficiency and output of business and industry. The cost of business has in some instances increased dramatically due to stoppages in production as a result of infrastructure deficiencies and employment could be affected,” said Ricardo Hansby, deputy director general for infrastructure and economic development.
MEC for local government Mlibo Qoboshiyane, said: “The essence of this partnership is to help the Nelson Mandela Bay metro improve service delivery, attend to service backlogs, attract more investments, and improve infrastructure.”
Dr Vincent Maphai, SAB executive director of corporate affairs and transformation, said water provision was a core priority of SAB’s sustainable development focus.
“Water governance is a strategic thrust of our water game plan to ensure the sustainability of water within communities and use by the business into the future, and takes a multi-stakeholder approach to achieving this objective,” Maphai said.
Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan executive mayor Zanoxolo Wayile, said: “This initiative talks directly to President Jacob Zuma’s call to building an effective, efficient and responsive developmental state, run on a professional basis.”
Several focus areas of collaboration have been identified in taking the initiative forward with SAB’s Ibhayi Brewery, based in Port Elizabeth, taking a leadership role in the partnership.
These focuzs areas include the utilisation of SAB’s water infrastructure, maintenance and engineering skills at its Ibhayi Brewery to strengthen the municipality’s water pump stations.