GWERU City Council finance director, Edgar Mwedzi has disclosed that the local authority had resolved to partner a private investor to revive Go-Beer Breweries, which closed three years ago after accumulating huge debts.
by Stephen Chadenga
Council shut down the brewery in July 2014 after it emerged that the beer concern had become a financial burden to the local authority.
“We have resolved as council to engage a strategic partner to revamp Go-Beer,” Mwedzi said at the 2018 budget consultation meeting on Monday.
“It is only last week that we also resolved as council that all operations of the beer company revert to Gweru City Council to make sure that it (Go-Beer) becomes an income generating project once again.”
Mwedzi, however, said the resuscitation of Go-Beer was a long-term project, as council was currently seized with improving service delivery.
He also disclosed that letting out Go-Beer beerhalls has not been beneficial to council, as tenants were failing to meet their rates obligations.
The council treasurer said the beer concern was currently reeling under a $3 million debt, owing to operational challenges. “Go-Beer left creditors amounting to almost $3 million and from the year 2010 to date council has paid $2 104 597 of which $102 794 was paid during this year,” he said.
In recent years, the municipality inherited some of the company’s debts and absorbed some staff deploying them in various departments after they went for years without being paid while others were retrenched.