While there is considerable uncertainty about the tough times ahead, SAB says this presents an opportunity for business to band together and support their biggest supporters. The company has a number of smaller businesses that rely on its partnership with them for their livelihood – these businesses are most at risk.
“We understand what it means to be a small business because we were one ourselves. Our retail partners, especially taverns, have been hit hard by the lockdown. Most owners are the primary and often sole breadwinners that have to support large and extended families. Most have not had an income for weeks and may not have income for the foreseeable future. We need to help them survive this difficult time and help them feed their families. So we will be donating food vouchers to 17,000 taverns across South Africa,” says Zoleka Lisa, vice president of corporate affairs at SAB.
Other Covid-19 support efforts by SAB are focused on areas where it can have the "most significant impact" by activating its brands to engage and inspire consumers. Gender-based violence is a big social challenge, and according to Minister Cele, in the first week of the lockdown, there were 2,300 complaints concerning gender-based violence.
Carling Black Label expanded its #NoExcuse campaign to provide a platform for people seeking help without having to make a sound by providing them access to the right organisation through a text-based service. All they need to do is to send the word 'BRAVE' via WhatsApp or text to 0800 150 150 to get the help they need.
Lisa concludes, “There truly is strength in numbers. Through unity and cooperation with the government, we can flatten the curve and help protect the health and wellbeing of all South Africans. By supporting our partners and helping our communities through this difficult time, we will come out of this stronger. We encourage all businesses and individuals to do the same, as we stand together at a distance."