CASE STUDY- 3 April 2023: In response to a looming Day Zero in the parts of the Eastern Cape province, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) commenced an ambitious project to work with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and other key stakeholders, including Gift of the Givers, to assist vulnerable and distressed communities. Read CCBSA’s full water journey here.
Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) aims to be part of the solution to achieve positive change in the world and to build a more sustainable future for our planet.
In response to the dire situation in Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) Metro where dam levels have reached a critically low level with the very real prospect of taps running dry, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) worked with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and other key stakeholders to ensure vulnerable and distressed communities continued to have access to water.
CCBSA realised that it could not undertake this challenge alone and set out as part of a strategic private-public partnership to work with local communities, the NMB Municipality, as well as signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Gift of Givers (GotG).
Nozicelo Ngcobo, Director of Public Affairs, Communication and Sustainability at CCBSA said: “Water is an important capital for the Coca-Cola company, as it is the main ingredient in our beverages. We need to ensure that everyone has access to clean running water, including especially vulnerable communities hard-hit by the water crisis.”
“This is particularly so for the vulnerable girl child and women, as the primary drawers of water in rural areas. But, we can do that only if we all understand that water is a finite resource,” added Ngcobo.
The beverages bottling company’s trucks were leveraged to support the GotG foundation with the distribution of water to struggling communities in the NMB area. The first water delivery through this initiative was done on 23 June 2022.
The company further donated 20 x 5,000 Litre Jojo tanks which were placed at identified water collection points around the city. This was to support the rapid roll-out of collection point sites as outlined in the Municipality’s emergency response plan. In addition, 500 water wheelers were distributed to communities to aid with water collection and storage.
CCBSA further deployed three off-grid, solar-powered groundwater harvesting and treatment systems ss called CokeVilles in the region. The sites have a combined total of nine systems with a minimum annual potential of replenishing 90 million litres per annum at no cost to the beneficiaries. The Coke Ville sites became operational in August 2022 and are located. in the worst affected in NMB such as Walmer which at the time was facing serious water shortages.
Since inception in 2020, the Coke Ville project has distributed over 200 million litres of water in Limpopo, Gauteng, Eastern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal. A total of 12 new systems are currently under construction targeting mainly the Gqeberha area.
To ensure security of water supply, the NMB Municipality concluded an emergency water supply continuity plan to ensure water supply to critical installations such as healthcare facilities, schools, and police stations. Commercial and industrial users like CCBSA that are supplied water through the Western Water Supply System, including are also covered by this plan.
This allowed businesses to continue focusing on operations and preserving jobs and livelihoods.
In support of this CCBSA implemented a six-point plan that is directed towards securing alternative water supply sources to support business continuity, support for our local employees, as well as minimising our societal impact.
Ngcobo said: “How we respond to the water situation in our country, and how we preserve and manage our use of water resources to ensure the adequate and sustainable provision of clean, safe water to communities, will go a long way towards ensuring water security not only for us, but for future generations as well.”
CCBSA continues to work alongside the Municipality and all relevant stakeholders to avoid Day Zero, while at the same time implementing its societal intervention plan to support vulnerable communities during this period.
We believe that by working together we will be able to overcome this crisis and create a more sustainable future for all.