For the third year running, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa managing director Velaphi Ratshefola celebrated at Standard Bank Top Women Awards
Johannesburg, 08 November 2021 – Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) managing director Velaphi Ratshefola has, once again, been named as the winner in the Top Gender Empowered: Male Driving Gender Empowerment category at the 18th annual Standard Bank Top Women Awards.
This is the third consecutive year that he has been acknowledged for the award that recognises leaders that have put the advancement of women into leadership position at the centre of their companies’ strategies. Ratshefola received the accolade in 2019, 2020 and again this year. The esteemed awards also honour and laud outstanding leadership, inspiration, vision, and innovation in organisations that show true dedication to uplifting women’s roles in the economy, covering all major economic sectors, and including small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs) and national corporations.
“I am immensely proud to receive this accolade. It is affirmation of our commitment to diversity and inclusion in our business, as well as across our supply chain,” said Ratshefola following his win. “At CCBSA, and in the entire Coca-Cola system, we believe in more than just making profits at all costs but take our role and responsibility of making a difference in society, to heart, from an economic, social, and environmental level.”
The Standard Bank Top Women Awards, finalists and winners are selected for their ability to drive and promote an environment of diversity, inclusion and belonging for people from all cultures and backgrounds.
Following a five-year journey of transformation, Ratshefola led Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) to reach the coveted status of being a Level 1 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) contributor in 2021.
The bottler’s ambitious goals have been underpinned by a well-crafted transformation strategy which sought to increase gender parity, ensure a diverse supply chain, increase black ownership of the business, and respond to the country’s economic agenda and sustainable development goals by investing in youth and women entrepreneurship.
“Since our launch in 2016, our intentional commitment to empowering women within our own ranks, as well as our network of partners and suppliers, has been relentless but, most importantly, highly effectively in shifting the needle on gender empowerment,” Ratshefola added. The company’s insistence on fulfilling its ambitious targets in a broad-based way is what has impressed judges.
For instance, in 2018, the bottler established the Women@CCBSA Forum, a women-led network that offers women an environment to address pertinent challenges that face them, while providing coaching, mentorship and mutual support to empower young professionals to reach their full potential. This platform, as well as a conscious drive to seek female talent in the country for key positions has led the company to elevating and retaining 40.5% women in senior management, 44% in middle management and 33.2% in junior management. To date, the company has increased its representation of women to 37.5% in its executive management level.
In the supply chain, CCBSA has managed to transform R7.1 billion of its preferential procurement spend, a significant increase from just over R900 million in 2017.
“Our ability to deliver this level of transformation in our workforce at all levels has been founded on providing spaces where all people can offer practical interventions to make people’s lives better, so they feel welcomed in spaces that they might previously have not been,” Ratshefola says. “Diversity and inclusion, not only in terms of race and gender, but a diversity of viewpoints and experience, is an invaluable asset for any organisation that seeks to succeed in a fast-changing global landscape.”
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.