Soweto Beer Festival hopes to boost tourism

It’s not only shebeens and quarts of beer in Soweto. This weekend sees the fourth instalment of the yearly Soweto Beer Festival, where enthusiasts will be able to taste more than 40 beers.

Godfrey Mautloa, owner of Masakeng Pub and Grill, started this initiative four years ago to ”set the stage for good friends to share good food and great beer”.

Mautloa told the Mail & Guardian Online he expects 80 000 people to attend the four-day event. He also hopes to see tourists there.

”Events such as the Soweto Beer Festival act as a catalyst to grow Soweto as a major tourist attraction in South Africa,” says Mautloa. That’s why visitors have the option this year to make use of travel packages from tour operators that include accommodation and transport.

The festival creates employment in catering, security and transport for approximately 100 Soweto residents.

Mautloa points out that the beer festival does not support underage drinking.

”Underage drinking will not be tolerated, and anyone found drinking who is underage or providing liquor to underage youngsters will be dealt with by the on-site security and SAPS [South African Police Service] contingent,” he says.

Besides all the local, traditional African and international beers, there will be live entertainment, including DJs and MCs from Yfm and Metro FM, and performances by Optical Illusion, H2O and ProKid on Friday night. Saturday night’s performers include Mandoza and Brown Dash.

Sunday’s live music includes Mzekezeke, and the festival comes to an end on Monday night with music by a jazz, percussion and saxophone ensemble.

The festival runs from Friday to Monday at SHAP Stadium in Mofolo Park, Soweto, from 2pm until late every day. Tickets are R35 at Computicket or Masakeng Pub and Grill. More information: Tel: 011 982 8034

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Elvira Van Noort
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