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Pernod Ricard invests R38 million locally into festive season campaign that gives back to South Africans

According to South Africa's National Development Plan (NDP), the country needs to create 11 million jobs by 2030, with 90% of these jobs expected to come from new small and medium-sized enterprises.

The country is battling massive unemployment, and a big part of the potential solution to this enormous challenge is developing small local businesses. However, the government cannot create enough jobs to address this problem adequately on its own. Therefore, the only real solution lies in private-public partnerships to sustain these small businesses. 

To help achieve this, Pernod Ricard has invested R38 million locally into our 2021 Phakamisa ispirit (lift the spirit) festive season campaign to support employment opportunities in the country. Phakamisa ispirit is inspired by South Africa’s gifted wooden furniture and lifestyle artisans and offers South Africans a gift that keeps on giving this holiday season. We have also partnered with the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED) to ensure longevity and maximum impact during the roll-out of this project. 

At Pernod Ricard, we intend to create conviviality and bring ‘Good Times from a Good Place’ to the nation. As a well-established corporation in South Africa, it’s our responsibility to invest in the local economy and our local makers, who are at the heart of the country’s economy. These makers often cannot afford the equipment they need and require training to progress their careers. Through our Phakamisa ispirit campaign, we will provide these exceptionally gifted artisans with training, resources, and access to markets to help them grow their businesses and create employment in South Africa.

In partnership with the GDED, we plan to create a sustainable environment for artisans by establishing five workshops across Gauteng in the next five years, accommodating approximately 100 makers in the province. Our first workshop in Thokoza, donated by The City of Ekurhuleni Municipality, is being refurbished for approximately 20 local artisans. This warehouse will accommodate artisans that work with wood, and makers at the facility will have access to Pernod Ricard and other strategic partners that will guarantee a stream of income for them. The aim is to grow makers’ businesses to accommodate about 1,000 new jobs across all the workshops. The makers will also have access to a virtual showroom to photograph and instantly display their creations to a broad range of prospective online clients. 

South Africans can get involved by purchasing one of five participating Pernod Ricard brands, namely Jameson Select Reserve Irish whiskey, Ballantine’s Finest blended Scotch whisky, The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve single malt Scotch whisky, Chivas Regal 12-Year-Old blended Scotch whisky, and Beefeater London Dry gin. Each bottle is in a cylindrical carton containing a bespoke, built-in gift (lemon squeezer, ice mould, or phone speaker amplifier) inspired by our local makers. 

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Part of the proceeds from every participating bottle sold over the festive season will go towards providing these makers with SETA-accredited courses covering business management, manufacturing, technology, and accounting, as most artisans do not have formal training. 

Visit www.i-spirit.co.za to learn more about the Phakamisa ispirit festive gifting campaign and find out how you can raise your glass to the true spirit of ubuntu. DM/MC

Author: Gregory Leymarie, CEO of Pernod Ricard South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa 

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