Kentucky Fried Chicken Re-Invests in South Africa
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ Kentucky Fried Chicken announced today that it will invest $200 million in South Africa in the next three years - building 200 restaurants and encouraging entrepreneurs in black townships.
Bob Bothwell, regional vice president of KFC’s South Pacific-South Africa region, said the expansion would provide jobs to more than 6,000 South Africans.
″We now have plans that will provide employment to South Africans who need it the most: unskilled and semi-skilled laborers,″ said Bothwell. ″We will also produce a multiplier effect in that chickens must be grown, buns produced, vegetables grown and equipment supplied.″
KFC already has 300 restaurants in South Africa, its most profitable market in the developing world and seventh in sales in the developing world. Most of the existing restaurants are in white areas, but some are in major black townships near big cities.
Most of the company’s expansion will be in black townships, Bothwell said.
″We will be building company stores and allocating resources - specifically to encourage black franchises and black employees,″ he said. ″We are already training black South African executives in Australia.″
KFC entered the South African market in 1971. In 1987, the U.S. Congress passed a law forbidding U.S. companies from owning South African assets. KFC then sold its assets to Devco, an administrative entity, which managed the trademark. Now KFC will resume control over KFC restaurants in South Africa.
″This expansion will bring a lot of muscle to South Africa’s enormous undertakings,″ said Bothwell. ″We are an important business, especially in terms of empowerment and opportunities.″
Based in Louisville, Ky., KFC is the world’s biggest chicken restaurant with more than 9,000 outlets worldwide. It is a subsidiary of Pepsico Inc. of Purchase, N.Y.