The Tavern Tatler

The latest news for the liquor trade

Sibani Mngadi, Diageo SA Corporate Relations Director

Heineken retains title as SA’s favourite beer

Heineken continues its winning streak as South Africa's favourite beer brand. Heineken South Africa is pleased to announce that Heineken rose to the top of the beer category of the Sunday Times Top Brands Awards for a fourth consecutive year in 2020.

"Winning in the beer category of Sunday Times Top Brands for the fourth year in a row is a testament to the love South African beer drinkers have for the brand," says Lauren Muller, marketing manager for Heineken. "Like the iconic red star on the green bottle, this win acts as a stamp of approval for their favourite tasting premium beer and we are tremendously proud of this achievement."

The summit explored ways in which the industry can seek to create and operate in a safe environment regarding COVID-19 and contribute to the fight against gender-based violence.

"It also illustrates that South African beer drinkers share a global passion for quality and consistency. In more than 190 countries, Heineken is revered for its consistent quality and crisp taste that has been setting the brand apart for more than 150 years," she adds. "The premium nature of our beer and its global appeal connects with consumers, especially during moments of joy and entertainment, in particular through our memorable and light-hearted advertising, our sponsorship of the world’s most recognised sporting events, and impactful, and engaging events and experiences."

Sunday Times Top Brands Awards is commissioned by Avusa Media and conducted by TNS Research Surveys.

This triumph is Heineken’s second for 2020 as it was also recently voted as South Africa’s favourite beer brand in the Ask Afrika Icon Brands Survey for 2020/2021, one of the largest annual benchmark surveys, which measures brand loyalty. More than 25 000 local consumers chose the category winners from 230 divisions for this year’s survey.

Taverners Summit addresses responsible trading and consumer behaviour  

The tavern industry should play its role in promoting responsible behaviour. This was among the key conclusions to be drawn from a summit of tavern owners and industry stakeholders in November where the need to promote responsible trading and responsible consumption was highlighted. 

The summit explored ways in which the industry can seek to create and operate in a safe environment regarding COVID-19 and contribute to the fight against gender-based violence. 

The event, held at Kameeldrift East, outside Pretoria, was hosted by the Gauteng Department of Economic Development and the Gauteng Liquor Board, in partnership with the leading global spirits maker Diageo SA.  


According to industry figures, the ban on the sale of alcohol, allied to the one-month ban on the export of alcohol from SA, saw the annualised impact to GDP of a loss of R54.7 billion. In 2019, the industry made an annual contribution to GDP of R172 billion (2,3% of GDP). The ban further resulted in a loss of 165,371 jobs throughout the alcohol value chain. 

Diageo SA Corporate Relations Director Sibani Mngadi said the alcohol industry was focusing its energy on ensuring that registered liquor outlets trade in a responsible manner which supported national efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 and also help shape the economic recovery. 

“As we begin to sell, let us avoid taking shortcuts to recover the losses we have had this year,” said Mngadi, who also serves as the Chairman of South African Liquor Brand-owners Association.  

In addition to complying with the normal regulations under the Liquor Act, tavern owners were urged to adhere to all COVID-19 level 1 regulations.  

Raymond Martin, CEO of the Gauteng Liquor Authority, said: “Non-compliance is not a white or black problem, it is everyone’s problem.” He further urged liquor outlets to trade responsibly and play their part in combatting GBV. 

There are 34,500 registered licenced tavern owners in South Africa, supporting more than 200,000 dependents, thus playing an important economic as well as societal role in communities across the country.  

With taverns being at the centre of the township and rural economies, tavern owners expressed their willingness to contribute meaningfully in helping address the challenge of GBV. 

Mngadi said the alcohol industry has developed a Social Compact on Alcohol which mobilizes all stakeholders to work together in reducing alcohol harm and committed to spend a minimum of R150 million per annum on implementing the four pillars of the Social Compact. In addition to GBV, the Social Compact is focused on addressing the following three priority areas: 

  • Binge drinking 
  • Drinking and driving 
  • Underage drinking  

“Our aim as an industry is to address the issues of alcohol in society through measurable and evidence-based initiatives. As a combined force with Government, civil society and other stakeholders, we can bring about an enormous social change to the way that alcohol is viewed and consumed in South Africa,” said Mngadi.