Gauteng Informal Community Builds Itself Up
Revelations 21 partners with CCBSA over the years to create a consistent and meaningful investment that supports children and the elderly in the Devland informal community.
South Africa, 04 August 2021 – Meaningful ongoing support from Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has helped residents of the Elias Motsoaledi Informal Settlement in Devland to not only survive the Covid-19 pandemic but to be economically active in the face of fast-rising unemployment.
During Mandela Month, commemorated in July, the bottler partnered with Revelations 21, a non-profit organisation located in the settlement, to deliver a Bizniz in a Box outlet.
Bizniz in a Box is CCBSA’s enterprise development programme to train and equip township entrepreneurs to run their businesses, ranging from fast food, cafes, car washes, salons, and others. Since launching in 2015, the programme has trained over 700 young entrepreneurs around the country and helped more than 125 of them to run their own container business and create employment in townships.
“Although the community has been here for many years, we still don’t have electricity and residents still struggle to access adequate housing, service delivery and facilities that could add to their quality of life,” says Mpumi Pongolo, Revelations 21 founder. “The initiatives that our donors have provided over the years have been significant in making sure we can support those who have the greatest needs, including children, the elderly and those who are ill.”
Elias Motsoaledi, located near the Baragwanath Taxi Rank, was formed in 1993 and is home to over 10 000 people. Revelations 21 was established in the community in 2013, operating from a shed to offer various programmes to the community to care for the elderly care, vulnerable children, and people living with HIV/AIDS in the community and surrounding areas. Even with limited resources, the project provides meals to over 200 children daily at its after-school programme.
In 2014, CCBSA, which has a manufacturing facility in Devland, surveyed the host community and initiated a Community Shared Service project involving 200 of its staff members as part of the Revelations 21 employee volunteerism programme. This began with the demolition of the existing dilapidated building and the construction of three high-quality Wendy houses to house its equipment and host activities. Each house is equipped with a kitchen that has a stove, tables and chairs, as well as a staff room with a boardroom table and office chairs, all donated from CCBSA’s Devland plant. Each of these structures also has an office with cupboards, tables, chairs and bookshelves. A fence and gate were built around the property, which is also adorned with a food garden with a shade net.
The NGO, which still has no access to electricity, uses gas or firewood to cook meals for the needy community members. In 2017, CCBSA donated a generator to help with office work on sponsored computers. In the same year, the company provided a kiosk, which served as an outlet to sell cool drinks, and as there was no electricity, a solar power system for the entire property was also installed. Earlier this year, due to Covid-19 regulations, the organisation requested an outdoor roof shelter that could withstand harsh weather conditions. This would be used for the feeding programme to collect food parcels and other items to support the community. Outdoor furniture from two local donors, along with pallets for the construction were donated and in a matter of weeks, the project had expanded to also include a small business operating from a container, the Bizniz in a Box. It offered groceries and fast food for sale, generating a much-needed income and economic opportunity for the area.
“Our partnership with the community has been rewarding,” says Nozicelo Ngcobo – Public Affairs, Communication & Sustainability Director, CCBSA. “We have been able to identify and meet the most pressing needs of the community. More than just delivering a financial contribution, we have involved our various staff-run social impact initiatives.”
“For instance, our Soul Ambassadors sustainability initiative and the Men of Honour men’s forum have been especially active through regular grocery and blanket drives, as well as Covid-19 awareness programmes where we donated masks and sanitisers to help community members protect themselves and stay safe through the pandemic,” Ngcobo says.
More communities getting help
During Mandela Month, CCBSA’s Gauteng Region also provided 160 grocery hampers to four more NPOs, including Ikageng Itireleng Aids Ministry in Soweto, Phola in Diepsloot, Food for Life in Midrand and Gift of the Givers in Stormill, West Rand. The company also donated 40 computer laptops to organisations in Freedom Park, Eldorado Park and Tembisa, to help students with research assignments and online learning, which will be of good use as the schools resume around the country.
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 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.