SOUTH AFRICA – South African Breweries (SAB), a major brewery headquartered in Johannesburg, has committed to invest US$300,000(approx. R5.5 million) over three years in replenishing approximately 122 million liters of water in the Greater Cape Town Region over the period.

The investment will support the efforts of the Greater Cape Town Water Fund, a promising partnership between SAB and The Nature Conservancy, to clear 54,300 hectares of invasive species across seven priority sub-watersheds.

This will result in 55 billion liters of water per year being replenished back to the Greater Cape Town region by 2025.

The partners noted that using the investment, the environment conservation-based project will be able to clear 320 ha of invasive species around the upper Riviersonderend village in the Overberg region of the Western Cape, replenishing approximately 122 million liters of water to the Greater Cape Town Region over three years.

Alyssa Jooste, SAB’s Africa Sustainability Manager, said: “With water being the top ingredient in our products, saving this natural resource is not only a necessity but also a business imperative. As part of SAB’s set of sustainability goals for 2025, we have implemented various strategic water stewardship interventions to help us manage our water resources and show measurable impact doing so.”

“This collaboration is an exciting one. Not only is it a nature-based solution, but the impact can be tracked against a quantitative set of metrics.”

The project not only helps in environment conservation but also has social advantages, including the employment of 570 people, with a focus on hiring women and young adults.

Encouragingly, the company noted that the efforts of the staff have included the removal of 29,000+ ha of invasive plants since the launch.

This has returned roughly 13 billion liters/year to the regional water system, yet the project has a long way to go to meet its goal.

 “There needs to be a real sense of urgency about South Africa’s conservation challenges, as well as an ongoing commitment to sustainable solutions. This partnership is one such example. It has provided us with a real opportunity to make a difference, and we are impressed with the progress to date,” Jooste underscored.

The SAB-funded portion of the project plans to clear 50 ha of invasive species by June 2023; 100ha by December 2023; and by Jun 2024, it is expected that a further 170 ha will be clear in the wide projection of 320 ha, replenishing approximately 122 million liters of water in the area.

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