SA’s largest bottler catapults to the pinnacle of B-BBEE achievement
South Africa, 21 September 2021 – Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has now reached the coveted status of being a Level 1 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) contributor, the culmination of a five-year journey of transformation and economic empowerment.
“This was in line with our commitment to having a seat at the table with the most transformed companies in South Africa by 2022,” says CCBSA Managing Director Velaphi Ratshefola. “In 2020, we achieved a Level 4 accreditation and targeted Level 2 this year. To reach Level 1 is a testament to the vision of leadership and the commitment of all employees.”
The company’s achievements to date include:
- Ownership: Black shareholding has increased to 20%, of which all employees own 15.5%.
- Management control: Over 45% black representation on the board, while over 60% of top management are black and 30% are black women.
- Skills development: In 2020, CCBSA spent over R100 million in the training and development of black people.
- Preferential procurement: In 2020, more than R7billion was spent on preferential procurement with black-owned companies
- Enterprise and supplier development: The company has invested R125million to develop black-owned SMME’s in the value chain, leveraging its distribution network.
- Socio-economic development: R25million has been spent towards community development.
“The performance in all these elements reflects our determination to achieve transformation that goes beyond the scorecard, but forms an integral part of our business strategy,” Ratshefola says. “For us, the transformation of our organisation, workforce, and supply chain, is about so much more than the score card. The leadership committed itself to building a culture and ethos that is inclusive, diverse, and reflective of the demographics of South Africa to ensure the long-term growth of the organisation. We want to embody the spirit of the country and be a truly proudly South African company. This is in recognition of the contribution we need to make to correct past imbalances and meaningfully contribute towards the broader economic transformation and growth of South African society,” Ratshefola says.
To reach this goal and attain true gender equality, CCBSA developed a plan to not only reach the transformation scores to make this possible, but to leave a lasting legacy in the communities in which it operates. The company identified six strategic priorities that would provide a comprehensive roadmap and a definition of success in the medium term, to support the company’s long-term vision.
Youth in the Transformation Journey
One of CCBSA’s most impactful and consistent initiatives to help alleviate the plight of high unemployment particularly amongst young people, has been its Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP), launched in 2017 and operating directly in township communities around the country. To date, the programme has trained over 749 young entrepreneurs and handed over 375 containers in various municipalities around the country through the CCBSA Bizniz in a Box container shop initiative.
Transforming our Supply Chain
“Procurement has been our strongest pillar within our transformation journey,” says Ratshefola, “While we have been able to achieve the maximum number of points in this pillar, far outperforming other areas due to our focused strategy, we are by no means limiting our contributions to our supply chain.”
The company has transformed over R7.1 billion of its preferential procurement spend in support of more than 805 black-owned suppliers, of whom more than half are black female-owned suppliers. To ensure that their businesses grow and thrive, the company launched a R100 million a year fund for small supplier development and procurement. The fund is designed to run for a period of five years.
“With agriculture as a primary sector we rely on to contribute critical raw materials to our production, it only made sense that as part of our transformation journey, we invest in the pipeline of ingredients while developing young, black farmers,” Ratshefola says.
The programme was part of the conditions of the 2016 merger to form CCBSA. In 2018, a R400 million agricultural development fund to support previously disadvantaged black emerging farmers was established, known to many as the CCBSA Mintirho Foundation.
To date R294million has been disbursed, to 26 beneficiaries, helping to create 1145 jobs, 43% of which are for women and youth.
Change from Within
CCBSA has invested as much time, energy, and funds into ensuring that internally, there are deliberate and dedicated initiatives to propel the company to achieve is transformation goals. The Women@CCBSA established in 2018 is the case in point.
The women-led network provides women the space to engage, coach and mentor each other and ensure they reach their personal and professional goals s. The network has grown and provided a platform for experienced and successful female leaders to mentor and coach young women professionals. “As a business, we truly believe that women can advance their careers, raise families and have a meaningful work-life balance,” says Ratshefola.
“While it will be some time before we see a comprehensive human resources analysis of the impact of the programme, anecdotal evidence shows that it has had a major impact on the overall climate, for both men and women,” says Jika. “As women, we are a lot more confident, have a better understanding of our strengths and limitations, and most importantly, learning to accept and harness them,” added Flora Jika, Logistics Director for CCBSA and director tasked with driving the initiative.
CCBSA has also been deliberate with attracting female talent and ensuring structured training and support to retain them in the organisation. This has resulted in 40.5% representation of women in senior management and 44% in the middle management and 33.2% in junior management, with this representation continuing to grow.
Staff Inclusion and Wealth Creation
In May 2020, CCBSA took the first major step to fulfil its promise to increase its black ownership, launching the landmark Ikageng Employee Share Trust, which offers employees 15% shares and direct economic participation in the business. This brings the total black ownership in the business to 20%.
The deal benefits more than 7000 South Africa-based employees currently employed at CCBSA, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa and Appletiser, with each employee receiving an equal allocation of shares through the Trust, regardless of staff level, race, or years of service.
“We have done some exceptional work in the ownership space with Ikageng,” Ratshefola says. “This was a highlight for us, as our dedicated employees are now direct owners in the business.”
“While we might have reached the peak of achievement, as far as compliance goes, we remains committed to the ideal of continuous, meaningful and integrated transformation over the long-term,” he says.
Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) is a proudly South African company which began operating as a legal entity in July 2016, after the merger of six non-alcoholic ready to drink bottling operations. We are level 1 B-BBEE empowered company. We employ over 7000 people at 13 manufacturing facilities across the country. As a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) and a bottler for The Coca-Cola Company, our vision is to refresh Africa every day and make our continent a better place for all. We manufacture and distribute Coca-Cola beverages that make life’s everyday moments more enjoyable, while doing business the right way. The result is shared opportunity for our customers, our employees, our communities, and our shareholders. We conduct our business ethically, transparently and conscientiously. We espouse an inclusive business culture to reflect our African identity. We accelerate sustainable, profitable revenue growth across all categories and offer an innovative portfolio of products that respond to customer needs and consumer preferences. Profitability is important, but not at any cost. People matter. Our planet matters. We do business the right way by following our values and partnering for solutions that benefit us all.