Beer goes up to $180 as shortage worsens in Swaziland

Inter3Johannesburg — A man in Swaziland is selling a 750ml bottle for beer for R180, or “best offer” as the country’s beer shortage enters its third week, according to Sunday’s Business Report.The seller has offered free delivery, but only if the buyer lives in Manzini. During normal times a bottle of beer usually sells for R11.According to the man’s advert, sent to an online community newsletter, the bottle was unopened and contained “genuine beer from Swaziland Breweries”. It was bought in a Manzini suburb on 20 July.

The brewery stopped production three weeks ago so it could retool for a new production line, costing about R1.6 million. It normally produces brands like Castle, Black Label, and the local brand Sibebe Beer.

The brewery’s spokesperson Sharon Maziya told local radio: “We tried to seek assistance from our counterparts in South Africa, but I am sad to say they could not help as they also said they had a huge demand and markets to satisfy, thus there was nothing they could do for us.”

The shortage has made front page news in the country. The Swazi News’ banner headline screamed: “Without Beer We Will Starve!”.
Cans of beer are still available, but they are more expensive. People reportedly preferred bottles because they contained more and were easier to pass around and share. — Sapa

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