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Ingwebu set to lease 18 beer outlets

by Staff reporter
13 Feb 2012 at 23:19hrs | Views
THE Bulawayo Municipal Commercial Undertaking (BMCU) liquor firm, Ingwebu Breweries, is franchising out 18 of its beer outlets in Bulawayo, which are facing viability problems.

The retail business has been reportedly staggering for the past few years, which saw it closing down 13 of its outlets that are dotted around the city's high density suburbs as it tried to remain afloat.

The first 13 outlets were franchised last year in August.

The 13 are Nketa 8 Beer Garden, Hlanganani Bar Lounge in Tshabalala, MaHadebe (Emakhandeni), Matshobana, Nkulumane Beer Garden, Phekiwe (Nkulumane 12), Phumulani (Pumula North), MaNdlovu (Pumula East), Khongo (Mpopoma), Totobisa (Magwegwe West), Masilela (Gwabalanda), Sidudla (Njube) and Mondela Beer Garden in Tshabalala.

Responding to written questions yesterday, Ingwebu Breweries general manager marketing and corporate affairs Mr Themba Sibanda said the 18 outlets to be let out include 10 beer gardens and eight bottle stores.

"A total of 18 outlets are available for franchising and these are made up of 10 beer gardens and eight bottle stores," said Mr Sibanda.

He said Ingwebu has been making losses due to costs including high utility bills, hence the need to lease them out.

"Since dollarisation, our retail business has been making losses due to costs associated with bigger businesses.

"Franchised businesses are generally entrepreneurial in nature and operate on more flatter and leaner organisational structures that make them more efficient. This business model would offer mutual benefit to both parties by unlocking value from existing infrastructure," said Mr Sibanda.

The beer gardens to be put on franchise include Figa in Njube, Magwegwe, MaKalanga in Mabutweni, Manwele (Mzilikazi), Gibixhegu (Entumbane), Sizinda South, UMhambi in Njube, Insizwa (Old Magwegwe), MaMkhwananzi (Old Lobengula) and Iminyela Beer Garden.

Mr Sibanda said the bottle stores are Makokoba, Mpopoma, Pumula North, Sizinda, Barbourfields, Pelandaba, Tshabalala and Mzilikazi.

When the BMCU closed the outlets in 2010, there was an outcry from the Bulawayo City Council, the major shareholder that claimed it had not been consulted and imbibers and informal traders who over the years had been surviving on selling foodstuffs at the outlets.

At some point the city council ordered Ingwebu Breweries to re-open the beer gardens and threatened to take over their running.

Mr Sibanda said the 13 outlets had been handed over to the council and it would be up to the local authority to decide what to do with them.

He said the outlets that had been handed over to council are MaShumba, Burombo, Greenspan, MaNdebele, Sizinda North, Elangeni, Mathonisa, Magwegwe, Figa, Aisleby, Inkunzi, Njube and Ikhwezi Tavern.

"As of now, all the outlets that were closed remain closed although some may revert back to Ingwebu under franchise as will be the case with Figa and Magwegwe Beer halls. Ingwebu Breweries, like any other franchise, would require that franchises pay standard fees for sustainability," said Mr Sibanda.

As requirements, prospective franchisees should have been resident rate payers for a period of not less than 10 years, must have a start up capital of about $15 000, should have collateral in the form of business or house and be able to pay the initial franchise fee for allocated outlet before taking up business.

Those interested are also required to submit curriculum vitaes of the owners of the business and a partnership of agreement for sole traders or partnerships while registered companies are required to submit CVs of all directors and Certificate of Incorporation.

Ingwebu Breweries, in terms of the franchise, would co-operate the franchised outlets and those interested are required to submit business proposals and support social and cultural roles played by BMCU outlets to the community.

Mr Sibanda said the closing date for submission of forms is 24 February.

Source - TC