Johannesburg, August – Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has added 50 community entrepreneurs to its network of local distribution partners (LDPs) since the beginning of the year, boosting small business development and creating jobs in townships around the country. This brings their total number of LDPs to 149.
The company held its annual two-day local distribution partner lekgotla at the Premier Hotel near OR Tambo on Thursday and Friday last week on 24 and 25 August, where senior leadership in the business mingled with small business owners under the banner “Stronger Together” to discuss strategy, new products and packaging and the regulatory and legal environment.
Suppliers in the Coca-Cola system, including vehicle manufacturers, truck rental companies, insurance and cash-risk management companies, were also on hand to present their products and service offerings and interact with LDP owners.
CCBSA helps local distribution partners to become third-party distributors of its products, ensuring smoother delivery and customer service and creating employment opportunities, mainly in townships.
These opportunities are in the form of business ownership as well as work for drivers, crew and warehouse staff from these communities.
A growing number of woman and youth entrepreneurs are seizing the chance to own a business and 90% of local distribution partners are from previously disadvantaged groups.
The programme is a key part of CCBSA’s growth strategy and connects it to smaller customers in previously under served markets.
Since the beginning of the year, 50 new partners have joined the Coca-Cola network, mainly in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.
The annual lekgotla is an opportunity to share new initiatives, with inputs and comments from the owners on how these will affect and grow their businesses.
It is also a chance to celebrate the successes of the programme and includes an awards evening using CCBSA success criteria for all local distribution partner sites, with great prizes for the owners.