SABMiller goes live at Welwitchia

Hon. Immanuel Ngatjizeko receives thirst quenchers from SABMiller Namibia Chairman Adv. Gerson Hinda.

The town of Okahandja was the scene of celebration this week when the world’s second biggest brewer, SABMiller, officially opened its Welwitchia Brewery in the industrial area of the town, following a protected battle to enter the Namibian beer market, long dominated by local darling Namibia Breweries.

Speaking at the event, SABMiller Namibia Managing Director Kobus Bruwer said “this is a seminal occasion for SABMiller in Namibia and represents the latest investment by the [SABMiller] Group in the African growth story. It will contribute to the creation of a vibrant local manufacturing sector.” According to Bruwer, the existence of the brewing plant will allow SABMiller Namibia to accelerate the emergence of small and medium businesses which he said are important to the life blood of the economy.
The US$33 million plant rates as one of SABMiller’s most efficient and environmentally friendly breweries for its size in the world, noted Bruwer.
The Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Hon. Immanuel Ngatjizeko said “emphasis has been put on amongst others, value addition within Namibia as a means of growing the economy, creating wealth and employment and hence contributing to the overall economic prosperity of Namibia.”
Added Ngatjizeko “I am happy to note that SABMiller set up the Welwitchia Brewery to contribute to the national development objectives of the government by fostering industrialisation, wealth creation and povery eradication.”
Since operations began in September 2014, the Welwitchia plant has converted 30 million non-returnable bottles while using only 3.25 litres of water per litre of beer produced, below the specified 3.5 litres target set by the SABMiller group in 2008.
SABMiller’s activites in Namibia span over two decades. Previously it had to import its popular brands but still managed to capture a respectable 22% of the local market.