SABMiller plc to fund political parties for election 2004
3 March 2004
The Chairman of SABMiller plc, Meyer Kahn, today announced that, after due consideration, a decision had been taken by the SABMiller Board to provide funding to those political parties in South Africa's Election 2004 which, in addition to a commitment to democracy, had demonstrated voter support by receiving at least one percent of the total votes in the 1999 Parliamentary election.
While it is company policy that the Group and its subsidiaries will not make political donations, other than by exception and in an open and transparent manner, it was agreed that as a strong democracy requires healthy political parties, particularly in a newly formed multi-party system like South Africa, an exception was fully warranted.
"We are strongly of the opinion that the democratic political process in South Africa is vital to the country's stability and growth and deserves our support" said Kahn.
An amount of R5 million has been allocated for distribution across six parties, the ANC, the DA, IFP, NNP, UDM and the ACDP, with the ANC and the DA to receive the bulk of the funds.
"We accept that there are a large number of registered parties but we were obliged to determine a cut-off point in the interests of not diluting our contribution and rendering the amounts meaningless" Kahn concluded.
The company reaffirmed its ban on donations to political parties in the European Union.
Notes to editors:
SABMiller plc is one of the world's largest brewers, with 2002/03 lager volumes in excess of 115 million hectolitres. It has a brewing presence in over 40 countries across four continents and a portfolio of strong brands and leading market shares in many of the countries in which it has brewing operations. Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world.
In the year ended 31 March 2003, the group generated US$770 million pre-tax profit from a turnover of US$9,112 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.
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