Nomthandazo Jane Makhanya was born and raised in Ecaleni, Tembisa, in the home in which she still lives. Jane, as she’s more popularly known, runs Gettie’s Tavern, the business she inherited on her mother’s death in 2005.
“My mother established Gettie’s Tavern. She was selling as a shebeen queen,” Jane says. In those days, her mother had to travel a long distance to buy a crate of beer, which she then sold on to her customers. “She sold warm beer,” Jane recalls.
Eventually, bottle-store owners noticed her mother’s hard work and started supplying her with alcohol to sell. But Jane’s mother often found herself on the wrong side of the law thanks to the strict liquor laws in place at the time, which banned black people from serving liquor, buying beer and even driving alcohol vans amongst other discriminatory measures.
“The police would come demanding a trading licence. We had no licence so they would take the alcohol,” Jane says. Her mother would then have to pay for the confiscated alcohol, as well as having to purchase new stock to sell.
Luckily, we received some assistance from SAB, Jane says. “There was a man called Justice Morupa, who was a rep for SAB. He liked us and assisted us in getting the licence,” she says, adding, “In 1990 Getty’s Tavern became legal.”
“Without the help from SAB, things wouldn’t have worked out because we didn’t know where to go. They knew where we needed to go; they guided us.” Jane explains that this guidance even included help with getting all their documents in order. “This is how we got the licence,” she notes.
In 2010, SAB reps explained the concept of SAB Zenzele to Jane. By then, she’d been in charge of Gettie’s Tavern for 5 years. “They explained about an investment plan within SAB, then they explained how it worked and we understood,” Jane says, noting that she knew nothing about shares before then.
She invested what she could afford, which was R5000 at the time. As part of the SAB Zenzele Holdings Limited trust, black owners of beer and soft drink retail establishments were allowed to purchase shares in SAB for a nominal amount.
The dividends she’s received over the years has helped Jane to improve her home and to help her children. She re-invests eighty percent of her dividends in an interest-bearing bank account and has instilled in her family the idea of investing in shares. “We now know how to invest,” she says.
“Had I known of the benefits, I would have invested more to get bigger returns. I consider the SAB Zenzele scheme to be a great investment option and it makes me feel like I’m part of the SAB family,” Jane says.
Since launching SAB Zenzele, the company’s broad-based black economic empowerment programme in 2010, SAB has disbursed a total of R4-billion to its three shareholder groups. Beneficiaries include black SAB employees via the SAB Employee Trust, the owners of black-owned beer and soft-drink retail establishments through SAB Zenzele Holdings Limited and the SAB Foundation Trust, which supports entrepreneurship projects for the benefit of low-income communities.
A combination of key features makes the transaction distinctive:
- The benefits of the transaction are specifically targeted at major stakeholder groups who have played a meaningful role in SAB’s long-term business success.
- The transaction was made affordable and easily accessible for targeted stakeholders. Employees and the SAB Foundation are not required to pay for their shares, and retailers have made a nominal cash investment.
- No external bank funding was required, contributing significantly to the sustainability of the transaction.
- Regular meaningful cash dividends were paid to all participants from year one, delivering a significant economic benefit.
- Through the SAB Foundation, many historically disadvantaged South Africans benefit from sustainable ongoing investment aimed at fostering entrepreneurship.