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SAB Sharp: Brewer launches platform to encourage responsible drinking

South African Breweries (SAB) has launched a new outcomes-based responsible consumption platform, called SAB Sharp, with focused interventions aimed at encouraging South Africans to make better decisions when it comes to alcohol consumption.
Source: SAB
Source: SAB

As the festive season draws closer, the brewer says it's committed to using its scale, reach and expertise to accelerate responsible consumption through the launch of the new evidence-based platform.

The new SAB Sharp platform will enable SAB to run interventions that can accelerate the curbing of irresponsible consumption of alcohol at scale and with pace, leveraging partnerships with government, communities, civil society retailers, tavern owners and media agencies.

SAB's rallying call to South Africans to be 'sharp' when it comes to alcohol consumption includes the SA Be Sharp Charter, a manifesto of SAB’s commitment to championing responsibility which includes a citizen’s commitment that South Africans can sign up to on the SAB website.

SAB VP for corporate affairs, Zoleka Lisa says SAB is moving to actively driving change through partnerships with government, key stakeholders, communities, and tavern owners. “Beer has been a special part of South African heritage and culture for many years, and, as SAB, we firmly believe that every experience with beer should be a positive one.

“This belief requires us to encourage and enable the growth of thriving communities where harmful drinking no longer presents a social challenge. Our SAB Sharp commitments and programmes are designed to get South Africans to consume alcohol responsibly as they live, drive, talk and sell Sharp.”

The brewer stated that as part of a global company, SAB is well placed to launch platforms like this to ensure it continues to play its part in confronting the irresponsible consumption of its products and measures itself against the tangible and aggressive targets it has set.

Four pillars

The launch of SAB Sharp is part of the company’s five-year plan to create a safer and smarter drinking culture. SA said the Sharp platform will drive tangible results in SAB’s delivery of programmes aimed in four specific pillars of responsibility: responsible communities, responsible driving, responsible marketing and responsible trading.

SAB has put in place tangible goals that will serve to focus its efforts to address the abovementioned societal ills. The brewer has made the following commitments:

SAB will help the nation Live Sharp: "We will uplift the areas we do business in and drive economic inclusion as an enabler of thriving communities, while ensuring that we protect the most vulnerable people within them. We will prioritise the holistic inclusion and empowerment of women, youth and township and rural based businesses. We are calling on the Government to partner with us in creating an enabling environment for businesses in South Africa."

SAB will help the nation Drive Sharp: "Reducing alcohol-related road vehicle accidents is part of our plan of action. We will continuously spread awareness to licensed drivers that no matter the reason, or how near or far the destination, it’s always better to have none for the road." To this end, SAB is calling on South Africans to refrain from driving after consuming alcohol and aims to help reduce alcohol-related incidents and fatalities by 2025.

SAB will help its retailers Sell Sharp: "We pledge to end the insistence of fun beyond the legal hours of trade. We pledge to end the excessive on-site consumption of alcohol, and we commit to enforcing the legal drinking age." To this end, SAB is calling on outlet owners and retailers to actively promote responsible drinking in their communities and the company aims for 100% compliance in Responsible Trading Programme standards.

SAB will commit to using its brands to Talk Sharp: "We will promote the enjoyment of beer with dignity, on all platforms. Through the power of our iconic brands, we will show consumers that they can have fun without the regret of binge drinking or displaying irresponsible behaviour." To this end, SAB is calling on all its creative and media agencies along with its marketing teams to promote responsible communication of its products across all platforms and use its brands to change social behaviour.

The company said it will work closely with its key partners including government departments to create a future that advocates for the responsible consumption of alcohol. “We therefore call on all our partners, the entire beer value chain and South Africa at large to partner with us on this journey as we create a future with more cheers,” said Lisa.

Alcohol Evidence Centres, Responsible Trading Programme

SAB has already begun piloting all its responsible consumption programmes including the rollout of 10 Alcohol Evidence Centres across South Africa. By 2025, the brewer will have rolled out 50 AECs across the country.

The brewer has also rolled out a Responsible Trading Programme to 30,000 retailers to ensure that retailers are held accountable in terms of a compliance criteria that ensures that they trade responsibly by not selling to underage individuals, amongst others. SAB further envisages the roll out of 10 Gender-Based Violence centres across the country by 2025.

Commenting on the launch of SAB Sharp, Convenor of the National Liquor Traders Association said, “We support the launch by SAB of the Sharp initiative aimed at promoting responsible usage of alcohol and fostering a culture of responsible trading. We believe that this initiative will address some of the pressing issues linked to alcohol abuse and we commend SAB for this groundbreaking alcohol harm reduction programme.”

SAB's Zoleka Lisa said, “In order to create the kind of country we want to live in, we acknowledge the societal ills caused by irresponsible consumption of alcohol, and we are committed to be at the forefront of changing the way the nation behaves when they are selling, buying our enjoying our beers.”

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