Consol Glass halts R1.5bn plant investment, yet another blow to SA economy

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The ban on alcohol sales and lockdown regulations continues to cause further strain on the South African economy.

Earlier this week, Heineken South African was forced to shut down its production, entirely.

Heineken South Africa’s proposed R6-billion production facility, which was to be situated near Dube TradePort, Durban, also came to a grinding halt.

Read more: Heineken halts production and R6-billion facility, as alcohol ban tears down the economy

Now, yet another major company has brought investments to a stop.

This follows Consol Glass suspending construction of an R1.5-billion investment. An investment which was earmarked for a manufacturing plant in Ekurhuleni.

According to Consol CEO Mike Arnold, the investment was meant to increase the glass manufacturing capacity in SA from 100 000 tonnes of glass to 130 000 tonnes of glass.

In fact, Arnold explains the construction of the plant began prior to the lockdown ban on alcohol sales. However, due to the ban on alcohol and losing over two months of sales, he says Consol Glass had no alternative but to pull the stops to the plant.

It was anticipated that the plant would have created 120 direct jobs. As well as a further 2 600 additional employment opportunities across the value chain.

According to Arnold, the alcohol industry accounts for 85% of the sales for Consol Glass. With losing critical mass and scale, Arnold says it will affect other parcel industry where Consol Glass supplies glass packaging.

Arnold adds that the first lockdown cost the industry R1.5 billion. This figure can possibly double during the second lockdown.

With another company withdrawing investments, the question now stands, how much more strain can our economy take?

Read more: Will Newcastle still be standing post COVID-19? 3 local politicians speak out

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