Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa unveils a R12 million groundwater harvesting mega project

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Graaff-Reinet – Residents of drought stricken Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape, are set to receive a much-needed boost in their water supply. This comes with the launch of a Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) R12-million mega project, which will supply the entire town of Graaff-Reinet with potable water.

The Coke Ville mega project is powered by solar energy which feeds directly into the municipality’s infrastructure and is able to supply between 27 million and 30 million litres of water every month to the surrounding communities and town.

Coke Ville is CCBSA’s off-grid, always-on solar-powered groundwater harvesting and treatment project; which has proven to be the perfect solution to address Graaff-Reinet’s water supply challenges.

CCBSA handed over the Coke Ville system at a ceremony on Thursday 19 October 2023. The project is supported by the National Department of Water and Sanitation, and the Dr Beyers Naude Local Municipality, in Graaff-Reinet.

According to Nozicelo Ngcobo, Director of Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability at CCBSA, the newly-installed Coke Ville systems have the capacity to deliver over 324 million litres of drinkable water per year, using the installed 89.7 kW solar PV system. The borehole pump is able to extract at a rate of 107,000 litres per hour.

“The community of Graaff-Reinet faces multiple challenges, including widespread poverty, limited access to safe and drinkable water, as well as the impact of load shedding which exacerbated the ability access water,” Ngcobo said.

Graaff-Reinet, the fourth oldest town in South Africa, has been dealing with recurrent droughts that have led to low water levels in the Nqweba Dam, the town’s primary water source. As the town’s population has grown, so have the challenges associated with water supply.

“CCBSA had an opportunity to use its resources to be part of the solution in Graaff-Reinet, and after conducting feasibility studies and due diligence, we found that there was enough ground water, we determined that our solar-powered Coke Ville system would provide the ideal solution to assist the town.”

Groundwater has become an increasingly important source of water, with multiple drilling programmes initiated since 2017. However, the impact of load shedding has caused irregularities in water abstraction from this source, creating a new set of problems.

The company’s Coke Ville systems are able to pump, treat, store, and distribute clean water to communities in need and operate at no cost to the residents.

There are four borehole site systems in Mimosadale; which have now been equipped with renewable solar energy systems. The system is completely independent from Eskom power supply and the Coke Villes have the capacity to fill up the town’s 18 Mega Litre storage reservoir at 1,5 Mega litres per month.

A total number of 3,882 households in Asherville, Kroonvale and Adendorp area, with a total population of 20,449 residents, are set to benefit from the project. Of the 3,882 households, 1,680 are registered as indigent.

Dr Beyers Naude Local Municipality Mayor, Cllr Willem Safers, said: “For over a decade we have struggled with water supply issues, which has only become worse in recent years. We appreciate the support provided by CCBSA to help alleviate the water challenges we have faced. Our vulnerable communities in particular will now have access to clean and safe drinking water.”

Portia Makhanya, the Provincial Head of the Department of Water and Sanitation expressed appreciation for CCBSA’s intervention to support the vulnerable Graaff Reinet community and urged residents to focus on behavioural changes to help preserve limited water resources.

“We all have a part to play in preserving water and to help build communities that are not only resilient, but sustainable in the long-term,” Makhanya said.

According to Ngcobo, each Coke Ville comes complete with tank stand, storage tanks, lockable manhole for pump, alarm system for security, palisade fencing around tank stand and solar panels with lockable gate. The taps are located outside the system to allow communities to fetch water at their convenience.

“The deployment of the Coke Villes is part of the company’s commitment to replenish every drop of water we use back to communities and the environment as part of the company’s 2030 Water Security Strategy. Securing long-term water and sanitation solutions is intricately linked with the country’s social and economic prosperity.

“As a company that uses water as one of its key ingredients, we are very conscious of the importance of preserving water for future generations, as we operate in a water scarce country that’s also prone to droughts,” Ngcobo added.

CCBSA has installed Coke Ville systems in Limpopo, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Eastern Cape, including in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan area which in recent years has faced a devastating drought.

To date, CCBSA has distributed over 658 million litres of water to over 35,000 households throughout the country.

Globally, The Coca-Cola Company’s Water Security Strategy 2030, is a three-pronged strategy to water, which is focused on regenerative operations, healthy watersheds, and ultimately supporting the resilient communities.

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Rakesh Rajbally

Managing Director: South Africa

Rakesh is C-Suite leader with 26 years of experience in General Management, Sales, Marketing, Logistics and Finance within the FMCG space. He currently leads the South African business for Coca-Cola Beverages Africa. He has a strong growth mindset and has successfully led CCBSA’s Commercial business unit. He is a sought after thought leader in developing & implementing revenue growth and route to market strategies in both modern and emerging markets. Under his leadership CCBSA recently completed a R6bn/ $400m investment in an Affordability growth strategy. He has also led CCBSA’s strategic and operational Customer management and recently achieved the #1 ranking across FMCG in the Advantage survey for 2 consecutive years.

Rakesh leads the CCBSA executive team that has been instrumental in successfully leading a large organization across major transformation changes including the merger of six entities to form CCBSA, the Sugar Tax introduction, Talent diversity strategy and other major productivity initiatives. He is a trusted partner and builds trust-based relations with business partners, stakeholders, and authorities.

His purpose statement “We have 2 hands, one to help yourself, one to help others” reflects in the many young leaders he has successfully coached and mentored.

Janett Forbes

Commercial Excellence Director

Janett is a seasoned financial, logistics, and commercial executive who joins us from Vector Logistics previously a division of RCL Foods where she held position of Finance Director.

Prior to this, Janett was part of the Coca-Cola family, having occupied various senior roles of Finance Manager, Category Manager, Revenue Growth Manager and Channel Development Manager within ABI in 2002 and 2016.

Janett is a qualified Chartered Accountant (CA(SA), has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Rhodes University in Grahamstown and a higher diploma in Accounting from University of Natal in Durban.

Desilan Pillay

Logistics Director

He joined the Coke system as a Unit Manager Designate at ABI Midrand in 2008. Desilan encompasses 20 years of management experience from companies including Afrox (Linde Group), the South African Breweries (ABI soft drinks and SABMiller – now ABInbev), and Unilever.  

He has a wealth of experience and a vast skillset within South Africa and across the African continent – all at executive levels. This includes, but is not limited to, project management, engineering, production (gases), packaging (FMCG), as well as operations management, financial management, sales and distribution, procurement, and planning (demand, supply, and production). Desilan has managed portfolios across end-to-end Supply Chain (Sourcing, Demand, and Supply Planning), Warehouse Management, Production, and Distribution, including Customer Care, After-sales and reverse logistics. He was also accountable for the delivery of service excellence in order fulfilment, cost of goods sold enhancement via strategic sourcing, and the overall cash optimisation (inventory) across the business. His most recent role before re-joining the CCBSA family is as the Chief Operations Officer at Anchor Holdings, one of the largest privately-owned warehousing companies in South Africa.

Desilan is a qualified Mechanical Engineer and has completed a Management Development Programme from UCT. His areas of expertise include building high performance teams and E2E supply chain and commercial acumen.

Desilan has been happily married for the past 16 years and has a 12-year-old daughter and 18-month-old twins – a boy and a girl. In his spare time, he enjoys seeing new sights locally and abroad. He is always planning his next trip to an exciting destination together with his family.

Nozicelo Ngcobo

Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability Director

Nozicelo started her corporate career in 1994 when she was recruited by Sasol into their Management Trainee Programme of the top 16 academic graduates in South Africa – class of 1993. In addition to Sasol, Nozicelo has since worked for listed companies such as Telkom SA, South African Breweries (SAB) as well as multi-national organisations such as Philip Morris International (PMI). In 2020, Nozicelo joined Coca Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) as Director for PACS.

Nozicelo has a demonstrable track record in successfully developing and managing corporate affairs and regulatory strategies for complex industries such as alcohol, tobacco and recently the beverages industry. Nozicelo has strong professional networks spanning more than 25 years in both public and private sectors. Her strategic insights, value creation, solutions orientation, strong business/political acumen, solid networks and ability to mobilise teams to successfully execute towards a common vision are just some of the many attributes she brings into any organisation.

Nozicelo is an advocate of human rights, animal rights and has a passion for youth/women empowerment.

Michael John Wilson

Finance Director

Michael started his working career at KPMG as a Manager and Trainee Accountant from 2002 until 2006. After completing his articles, his highest position held at KPMG was Audit Manager and Office Administration Manager. In 2006 to 2009, he worked at BASF South Africa (previously known as Engelhard South Africa), where he was appointed as Site Controller – Mobile Emissions Catalysts Division. He also served as a Team Leader for Finance when the company changed its ERP from JD Edwards to SAP. In 2009, Michael joined Coca-Cola Fortune (CCF) as Finance Manager – Business Support.

In 2015, he was assigned to the CCBA integration team as a Finance work stream member and later that year, Michael was appointed Finance Manager for Marketing, Sales and Distribution. Michael relocated to Windhoek, Namibia in January 2016 as Financial Director for Coca-Cola Beverages Namibia. In October 2017, Michael returned to Port Elizabeth as Group Financial Controller for CCBA, a position he currently holds. He serves on a number of boards and audit committees within the CCBA Group.

In 2000, Michael graduated with a B.Com (Accountancy) Degree from the University of Port Elizabeth and a year later, he completed his B. Com Honours (Accountancy) at the same university. He was admitted as a Chartered Accountant (CA) in 2005. In 2010, he completed his Executive Development Programme at the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

Moses Lubisi

Manufacturing & Technical Director

Moses has over 20 years of extensive experience spanning various industries such as Sugar, Food and Beverages, and Mineral processing, including 15 years within the Coca-Cola system, Moses brings a wealth of knowledge to this role.

His journey within CCBSA has seen him excel in positions ranging from Plant Manager, Regional Manufacturing Manager (Coastal) in CCBSA to Executive Director for Appletiser (Pty) Ltd. Before returning to CCBA within Group Office, Moses served as an Operations Director at Illovo Sugar (Pty) Ltd. His expertise lies in strategy formulation, governance and execution, with a focus on end-to-end value chain orchestration across manufacturing, warehousing, logistics and supply chain management.

Moses has held senior and executive management roles for over six years, overseeing regional and enterprise-level strategies, assets and resource allocation.

Agatha Masemola

Strategy and Performance Director

Agatha joined CCBSA in April 2020 from Absa Corporate and Investment Bank Africa, where she held various roles in the past nine years, including as Managing Principal for Strategy & Business Transformation and Chief of Staff to the Chief Executive of Barclays Africa Corporate Bank. She was a key figure in the build-out and integration of the Corporate Bank across 13 African markets.

Prior to joining Absa, Agatha was a Senior Management Consultant in Strategy and Innovation at Deloitte Consulting, South Africa. At Deloitte, Agatha worked on several executive-sponsored strategy and innovation projects across various sectors, as well as driving new business development. Prior to Deloitte, she worked in Life Sciences R&D for over ten years, both as a full-time researcher with publications in peer reviewed journals, and as a Portfolio Manager & COO for a biotechnology fund management, focusing on investment in early-stage biotech ventures and commercialisation.

Agatha holds a PhD in Medical Biochemistry from the University of Cape Town and has completed post-Doctoral research in South Africa and the USA. She obtained her BSc (Biochemistry and Physiology) and MSc (Biochemistry) from the University of the North. She completed a Management Advancement Programme at Wits Business School to help her transition from laboratory to business.

Agatha loves to travel and enjoys experiencing different cultures and sampling local cuisine.

Hannes Prinsloo

Country Sales Director

Hannes comes with a wealth of experience and strong commercial operations expertise stretching over 30 years within the Bottling system; truly an example of “home grown timber”.

In his most recent role, of General Manager Commercial, he managed the Revenue Growth, Route to Market, Category management, Channel Development and Knowledge and Insights. His previous experiences include that of General Manager Operations, District Manager and National Account Manager.

Among his career achievements, he counts being inducted as a Grand Master in 2021, which is a true testament to his passion for people, strong work ethic, and unwavering commitment to performance. The Masters are seasoned professionals in our core functions (Commercial, Logistics & Manufacturing) who have consistently delivered exceptional results in their 20-plus years of service in the organisation. CCBSA bestows its highest honour these professionals who have shown exemplary commitment, fortitude, passion, loyalty and most importantly, value-adding leadership.

In May 2023, at the annual Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) General Management Meeting (GMM) Awards, he was honoured to receive the CEO Award, which honours exceptional leadership that sets a clear example of consistently living our values. In his leisure time, Hannes follows a wide variety of debate platforms and sports.

Mkuseli Dlikilili

Human Resources Director

Prior to Mkuseli’s appointment to CCBSA, Mkuseli was Group Executive: Human Resources at Pioneer Foods, he  worked for leading South African organisations, including Eskom, SAB, Dulux and Portnet.

Mkuseli’s extensive experience in the FMCG environment includes playing a leading role in Pioneer Foods’ successful listing on the JSE and the integration of SA Dried Fruit and Ceres Fruit Juices. Mkuseli is passionate about empowering and developing people to realise their full potential, as well as contributing positively to all the spheres of their lives, and the accentuation of human dignity. He describes himself as an authentic, resilient, reliable, courageous, humble, principled and value-based person, and a committed Human Resources professional.