SABMiller has answered reports that power cuts will threaten its trade in South Africa by admitting that, despite a negative effect on sales being "inevitable", business in the country will continue.

Speaking to just-drinks today (1 February) a spokesperson for SABMiller said that South Africa's power supply problems were a hurdle that the company was currently working around, but also something consumers have been living with for a year-and-a-half already.

The spokesperson said: "We are getting advanced warnings for routine maintenance sessions for when the power is down and we are currently able to work around them. As far as how the on-trade will be affected, it is too soon to speculate. It is probably inevitable that you will see some impact in the consumer environment. For instance, when street lights go out, people go out less.

"The power situation has been something we've been living with for the past 18 months," the spokesperson continued. "This is just an extension of what we've already been living with and, despite the power outages, business has continued," added the spokesperson.