JOHANNESBURG, November 21 – The South African subsidiary of Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks producer, said on Tuesday it had established a trust to stimulate the economies of local communities and create much needed jobs.
Black South Africans, still lagging behind economically as a legacy of the country’s racially divided past, have felt the brunt of a current downturn manifesting itself in an unemployment rate of nearly 28 percent.
“South Africa needs to create a new generation of black entrepreneurs who will provide the growth and opportunities to bring more black people into the mainstream economy,” Diageo Empowerment Trust SA manager, Sinethemba Mafanya, said in a statement.
“We have set up the trust not only to get entrepreneurs into the economy, but also to maximise their chances of success.”
He said the first beneficiaries would share R10 million to boost their businesses and also be supported through mentorship.
The trust was also helping communities become sorghum farmers, with producers already identified in the Eastern Cape province.
“Sorghum is a raw material for Diageo, so we are in a position to provide a market for these farmers,” Mafanya said. The trust intended to create 300 jobs in the agriculture sector, he added.
– African News Agency (ANA)