BULAWAYO City Council needs $4 million to refurbish Ingwebu Breweries and increase distribution vehicles, it has been learnt.
Last year Ingwebu laid out plans to invest $500 000 in a plant to produce non-alcoholic beverages, but the plan did not work out, as the company failed to raise capital.
Plans to expand operations into the Midlands, Matabeleland North and South provinces last year suffered a still birth, although the company intended to go ahead with the revival of the brewery in Hwange, which has been lying idle for several years.
Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo, in his New Year message, said the local authority was looking forward to resuscitate Ingwebu this year.
“Ingwebu Breweries require $4 million to refurbish the brewery plant and increase distribution vehicles,” he said.
Ingwebu chairman, Moffat Ndlovu was quoted in some sections of the media saying the brewery plant was struggling under pressure from falling demand for products and the high cost of operating antiquated machinery.
“The other challenge we are facing is that we are using the old plant and to change it we need a lot of money,” he was quoted saying.
“We are putting some strategies to make sure that we are keeping on track.
“We are also thinking of introducing other programmes.”
Ingwebu is failing to pay its former workers’ pensions, while management is failing to increase workers’ salaries to $450 for the lowest paid employee.
Last year the Government Analyst Laboratories reportedly approved Ingwebu Breweries plans to introduce pasteurised and carbonated traditional beer into the market.