Water Tanker Quenches Grahamstown Drought

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Eastern Cape Community facing severe shortages receives much-needed reprieve from high-volume tanker from Gift of the Givers and CCBSA

South Africa, 12 August 2021 – Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has partnered with disaster response non-governmental organisation (NGO) Gift of the Givers to acquire a 34 500-litre water tanker aimed at distributing water to areas affected by severe water shortages in Makhanda, commonly known as Grahamstown, which is part of the Makana Municipality in the Eastern Cape.

With the NGO experiencing distribution challenges in the region, including reaching communities on the outskirts of Makhanda, CCBSA has invested R2 million towards the day-to-day running costs. CCBSA has committed to running the tanker for five years and is in the process of acquiring a second one to serve the area.

“As one of the largest single water users in South Africa, a country prone to water shortages, CCBSA realises that water access is a humanitarian issue directly tied to our license to trade,” says Nozicelo Ngcobo – Public Affairs, Communication & Sustainability Director, CCBSA. “Through this investment, we wanted to ensure that the tanker would be utilised on an ongoing basis for emergency support in areas of the most desperate need. 

The tanker adds to Makana’s existing three tanker fleet serving the communities of Fort Brown, Manley Flats, Salem, Alicedale and several other informal settlements.

Makhanda has been experiencing a water crisis for the last two years due to its ageing water supply infrastructure, combined with four years of drought.

The Makana municipality has reported that extended water cuts were due to “a faulty pump at the James Kleynhans Water Treatment Works” in need of repair. Water has been partially restored to most of the town, but cuts continue intermittently.

Makhanda receives over half of its water from the Orange-Fish River scheme, which pumps through the James Kleynhans Treatment Works. This water supply has been affected by dilapidated infrastructure rather more than by the drought.

Still, the drought has dried up the two dams, Settlers and Howiesons Poort, which usually supply the western side of town. This means that James Kleynhans Treatment Works, which previously only supplied Makhanda east, now has to supply most of the town, leading to frequent water cuts and throttling, or pressure reduction. This crisis does not only affect Makhanda, but surrounding areas as well.

The water will be crucial in filling the gap, as the area awaits long-overdue rains and local Government implements repairs to its water system.

This is the latest in CCBSA’s projects to deliver water to communities affected by shortages. In March 2020, the bottler launched its Coke Ville project, a series of off-grid, solar-powered groundwater harvesting and treatment facilities contributing towards water provision in indigent communities.

The Coke Ville Project now comprises seven sites in various locations including Limpopo Province, Eastern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal, benefitting 12 000 homes and delivering over 42 million litres of water in 2021 to date.

“With South Africa being one of the driest countries in the world, a fast-growing population means that water insecurity is set to become a major challenge in coming years,” Ngcobo says. “By partnering with local authorities, as well as NGOs on the ground, we are able to alleviate much of this water demand in particularly distressed areas, allowing municipalities the breathing room to maintain, repair and upgrade ageing infrastructure. This, combined with various innovations in our manufacturing facilities will contribute to improved water usage, treatment and distribution to communities in need.”



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.

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