Project Lungisa, a partnership between the Theewaterskloof Municipality and CCBSA, builds skills and -supports the rehabilitation of water infrastructure to save an average of 88 million litres lost per month due to water leaks
South Africa, 12 October 2021 – Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) is set to deliver as much as 13 million litres in water savings in Grabouw, Western Cape through its Project Lungisa, an integrated skills development and water infrastructure rehabilitation initiative. This is part of a broader and sustainable Water Replenish Programme being run in numerous communities around the country, where the ultimate goal is to replenish between 80 – 100 million litres back into communities in 2021.
In Project Lungisa, funded by CCBSA, 10 candidates have been identified by the Theewaterskloof Municipality, where Grabouw is located, for training in an intensive theoretical and practical plumbing programme. This is followed by structured and ongoing repair and maintenance of Grabouw informal settlement areas under the supervision of the municipality.
“Extensive water losses have been identified in the region as a result of ageing water network infrastructure, illegal connections, and facilities left damaged in the process,” says Andre Meyer, the municipality’s Acting Town Manager. “The regular maintenance of water leaks in informal areas remains a great concern and the high rate of vandalism on the infrastructure leads to continued water leaks that account to an average of 88 million litres per month.”
With water losses in the Theewaterskloof Municipal area being substantially high and water in general being an extremely valuable resource, the Executive Mayor of Theewaterskloof, Christelle Vosloo, has welcomed this partnership with CCBSA and looks forward to the change Project Lungisa can bring in preventing further water losses in the area.
“In the Theewaterskloof area we have experienced the damaging consequences of water scarcity when the Theewaterskloof dam dried up. Therefore, it is important that we do whatever we can to save water and preserve this important resource,” Vosloo says. “Throughout my term as mayor, upskilling young people is something that I have been very passionate and vocal about. I believe Project Lungisa is one of the examples of how we can improve the quality of lives in our community. Further, this project enables the municipality to develop and empower people.”
Project Lungisa forms just one part of the CCBSA’s broader comprehensive water sustainability projects around the country, which also include various groundwater harvesting sites such as the Coke Ville Groundwater Harvesting project. Coke Ville was launched in early 2020 and is an ongoing service to these communities, where seven sites across Limpopo, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal have already delivered over 60 million litres of water to impoverished, water stressed areas to date. Other projects include manufacturing water treatment, the removal of invasive plant species to clear watersheds, as well as the eradication of leaks.
Up to 37% of potable water in South Africa goes to waste due to failing systems, ageing infrastructure, illegal connections, with the Government losing approximately R7 billion annually due to water losses.
The problem of water leaks in Grabouw, where CCBSA’s Elgin plant is located, is a critical matter that needed urgent attention. The total water losses in the town have been around 60% since December 2019. There are more than 5000 informal structures in Grabouw with a vast semi-informal water network, which includes taps and toilets used by the public.
In addition to the employment and empowerment of local youth in sought-after technical skills, Project Lungisa will support the upliftment of the community’s quality of life through improved hygiene and sanitation facilities. Residents will be educated on water conservation awareness, while the municipality will realise increased revenue.
“At CCBSA, our aim is to contribute meaningfully to people and the planet by improving the wellbeing of the communities in which we operate,” says Nozicelo Ngcobo, CCBSA’s Director for Public Affairs Communications and Sustainability. “Water is by far the most important natural resource in our production, and as a high-volume water user, it is our duty to ensure its efficient use and long-term sustainability in a fast-growing, water stressed economy.”
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.