Ingwebu should not die

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BULAWAYO City Council’s commercial undertaking, Ingwebu Breweries, has punched below its weight for far too long.

Ingwebu-tanker-read-to-be-hauled
Ingwebu-tanker-read-to-be-hauled

The dividends the company pays to the struggling local authority have been dwindling each year yet it has the capacity to cushion council from the ever-declining sources of revenue.

However, indications are the company is on the brink amid reports that it is struggling under pressure from falling demand for its products and the high cost of operating its antiquated machinery.

A top Ingwebu official was last week quoted saying sales had been going down and the company had not been realising any profits for some time.

Early this year Ingwebu laid out plans to invest $500 000 in a plant to produce non-alcoholic beverages. The plan, however, suffered a still birth as the company failed to raise the capital.

Ingwebu has been surviving for over 100 years by producing sorghum beer and this in itself is a cause for concern.

The company, besides lack of innovation, has failed to grow with its market limited to Bulawayo and its environs.

There was talk of expansion into the Midlands, Matabeleland North and South provinces, but this cannot be possible if the company is struggling for survival.

Revelations of problems at Ingwebu come at a time when there are reports of alleged corruption.

A document authored by some employees who chose to remain anonymous alleges that Ingwebu’s problems are as result of gross mismanagement.

Ingwebu Breweries
Ingwebu Breweries

The employees claim the management structure is top heavy and that some managers have been allocating themselves allowances they do not deserve.

Council needs to take these allegations seriously because if true, they would be a recipe for disaster.

The underperformance of Ingwebu is unwarranted given its revenue streams and this should be an indication that council’s supervisory systems are suspect.

Ingwebu cannot be allowed to die, but it cannot survive without innovation in today’s competitive environment.