Giving to Distressed Informal Traders

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Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) supports Gift of the Givers in rebuilding micro-enterprises affected by the pandemic and recent looting

South Africa, 14 October 2021 – Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has donated R1.1 million to the Gift of the Givers Foundation to help informal traders in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, whose businesses were looted and destroyed during social unrests that took place in July.

The donation will cover the rebuilding of trading infrastructure, purchasing of destroyed assets, acquisition of goods for trade or start-up stock, as well as business coaching and mentorship. Informal traders in Msundizi, Richmond and uMshwathi in KwaZulu-Natal,  and  the East Rand in Gauteng, have been earmarked for this funding.

“While many businesses suffered serious financial losses during the riots and before that, the constrained trading environment due to the pandemic, informal traders were the hardest hit. It is therefore fitting that we would support organisations and initiatives that will help rebuild these small businesses and bring township economies back to life”, says Nozicelo Ngcobo, CCBSA’s Director for Public Affairs, Communication & Sustainability.

Ngcobo added that, traders on the ground are part of the company’s route-to-market strategy and are critical to reaching consumers even in the remotest parts of South Africa. “It made sense to find resources to help rebuild an already fragile informal business sector and by extension, our economy because without intervention from government and industry, small traders may not recover.  We remain encouraged by their steadfast resilience in the face of great adversity”, Ngcobo added.

Through a comprehensive funding programme, incubation, and ongoing monitoring CCBSA not only wants to see these businesses survive but the company’s plan is to contribute meaningfully to their growth and help create much-needed employment in these areas over the long-term.

Gift of the Givers, a well-established disaster response Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) working with several partners in the private sectors, will drive the programme running from October until January 2022.

During these four months of rebuilding, Gift of the Givers will act as grant administrator to affected micro-enterprises, providing them with grants to the total value of R75 000 per trader. This will cover the reconstruction of trading infrastructure, purchasing of destroyed assets, acquisition of goods for traders, a stipend for petty cash, and the appointment of a mentor to drive the revival of operations through a structured business strategy.

Qualifying traders must be South African citizens or foreign traders with valid South African work permits and prove that they have a trading history of 12 years or more. They must also  show that they have a fixed trading geo-location. Copies of FICA documentation, or an affidavit, and three months’ bank statements and verified bank accounts, must be provided. The requisite reference checks will be conducted.   .

“Our ability to make a difference on the ground has been the result of a passion for making a difference in people’s lives, as well as the highest commitment to sound corporate governance and due diligence,” says Badr Kazi, Strategic Relationships Manager for Gift of the Givers. “We strive to demonstrate to South Africans and corporate partners, such as CCBSA, that their generous contributions are being utilised to the maximum benefit of  beneficiaries, with every rand and cent accounted for. Through this relief initiative, we are confident that we can turn the tide on a very difficult trading environment and help secure a sustainable future.”

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About CCBSA

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.

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