By Stephen Chadenga

Gweru City Council has moved to revamp its beer concern, Go-Beer Breweries, after unbundling it into three business units expected to be operational by the end of the year, a senior council official has revealed.

Acting finance director Owen Masimba said the three business units had since been registered as subsidiary companies.

“The first stage of unbundling of former Go-Beer company into strategic business units has been completed with the registration of three companies,” Masimba said during the first quarter budget review meeting last week.

“The three (companies) are Go-Beer Farming Private Limited, Progress Private Limited and Progress Manufacturing Private Limited. All the strategic business units are to be operationalised during this year.”

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In 2017, council announced that it was looking at partnering a private investor to revive Go-Beer Breweries, which closed five years ago after facing viability challenges.

Since the country’s economy was dollarised in 2009, the cash-strapped council has to date bankrolled the beer concern to the tune of $2 208 914, money channelled towards payment of former Go-Beer creditors and employees, who had sued the council.

The beer concern also lost equipment and cattle, which were attached to cover retrenchment costs, although council last year, however, managed to pay packages for all the retrenched workers.

Masimba said council would develop a world-class vegetable market to accommodate the growing number of informal traders in the city.

He said the local authority had since signed a memorandum of understanding with a private partner and the project is expected to start in the second quarter of the year.