CSI Legacy Awards finalist  – Best Corporate Category – Coca Cola Beverages South Africa               

Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) is committed to boosting the local economy and has taken concrete steps to support the prosperity of the country. With initiatives focused on job creation, skills development and support for small and medium-sized enterprises, the company has already unlocked brighter futures for many South Africans.

A proudly South African company, CCBSA began operating as a legal entity in 2016 after the merger of six non-alcoholic bottling operations. The company is based in Gauteng and Ekurhuleni, employs 7 500 people and runs 13 manufacturing plants across the country which supply retailers of every size.

To leave a positive legacy in the communities where it operates, CCBSA made the commitment in 2018 to transform R3.9 billion of its preferential procurement over three years to benefit black-owned businesses. At the end of 2019, a total of R4,6 billion had already been transformed, exceeding the two-year target by R2 billion.

CCBSA has also established an annual fund of R100 million for small supplier development and procurement, to run from 2019 to 2023. The fund helps young entrepreneurs in the company’s value chain, including women, to deliver on their contracts.

CCBSA has further committed over R20 million annually for small business training in townships as part of its youth empowerment programme. The “Bizniz in a Box” initiative, launched in 2017, has boosted entrepreneurship and brought much-needed jobs to communities. Sixteen repurposed shipping containers have been rolled out in several Gauteng townships to successfully house grocery stores, car washes, fast food vendors, mini-bakeries and internet cafés. Roll-out in Bushbuckridge and Newcastle is also intended.

The containers are handed over fully stocked and ready for use to young entrepreneurs who have completed the free CCBSA training. This two-month theoretical and practical course equips them with the business skills they need to run their SMEs. Hundreds of entrepreneurs have been trained and the 25 most committed candidates in Gauteng were each presented with a container business including equipment and stock to the value of R175 000.

By the end of August 2021, CCBSA had trained more than 750 young female entrepreneurs and helped 375 to take their businesses to the next level. For Kelebogile Boikanyo, who runs a restaurant and convenience store from her container in Kanana village, Rustenburg, the opportunity proved a lifeline in 2017.

“I was making ends meet by selling cosmetics,” she says, “but I wasn’t making much. When I saw the ad online, I went to the first meetings in our area, and took a leap of faith. I received a call and was selected to go through the entire process, from bootcamp to the incubator process, and I haven’t looked back since.”

In the agricultural sector, CCBSA has set aside R400 million, through its Mintirho Foundation, for the training and development of historically disadvantaged, black emerging farmers or small suppliers of inputs for Appletiser and CCBSA products, to help them become competitive and sustainable. R343,2 million has already been disbursed to 26 beneficiaries, and 1 540 jobs have been created of which 57% are held by women.

The foundation supports a wide range of black agricultural entrepreneurs, including sugarcane farmers, and has also invested R25 million in Hya Matla Organics, an innovative start-up which transforms the invasive water hyacinth at Hartbeespoort Dam into commercially viable fertiliser and animal feed.

“These achievements demonstrate that with targeted support, the private sector, including CCBSA, can significantly contribute to the creation of a more transformed and inclusive agricultural sector,” says Velaphi Ratshefola, managing director at CCBSA. “With the right support, women, youth and black farmers can meaningfully participate in high-value agriculture and sophisticated value chains, both locally and internationally.”

Corporate Social Responsibility News (CSRNEWS) is South Africa’s leading Corporate Social Responsibility news, media and publishing firm. We create content on social responsibility, helping government, corporates, consultants, NPOs and NGOs to reach their target markets through appropriate, targeted development news.

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