We must lead by example to create a future in which all are equal – and safe

Social Share:

Equality in the workplace, home and society is critical

24 November 2022 – The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and runs through International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

The South African Government’s theme for the 16 Days of Activism Campaign for 2022 is: “Socio-Economic Rights and Empowerment to build Women’s Resilience against Gender-Based Violence and Femicide: Connect, Collaborate, Contract!”

The United Nations calls Gender-Based Violence “The Shadow Pandemic” and is working hard to eradicate it by 2030 and has consistently called upon the world to take steps to rid the world of the growing global, silent crisis.

Statistics show that 1 in 3 women worldwide experience some form of physical or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner. In South Africa, and Africa as a whole, this is exacerbated further by a deteriorating human rights emergency spanning violence, poverty and disease

Gender-based violence is a big stain on our society. We cannot escape the fact that we are a broken nation.

In the fight against abuse, it is important to recognise that it cannot be left to the authorities alone, as it is often too late when the law gets involved. We all need to work hard to contribute to ending this pandemic.

We know through our own experience as Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) that gender representation and inclusivity has been one of the critical building blocks of our continued success as an organisation. This has been shown to be the case around the world when it comes to running sustainable businesses and developing societies that encourage girls and women empowerment.

This transformative force needs to be replicated across all sectors of our society to underline and showcase the true value of women as contributors, builders, protectors, leaders and pioneers.

In 2018 we launched our Women@CCBSA programme as a network for women within our organisation to connect with each other and access resources, tools, case studies and practical guides for their careers and also to ensure a meaningful work-life balance.

The initiative developed further to include training 40 women as “Lean In” leaders, able to facilitate and run regular Lean In circles where women gather to discuss and unpack a specific topic which matters to them. These ranged from being a working mother to confronting distressing issues such as abuse.

It pains me deeply that we must have a period set aside to focus attention on the scourge that is gender-based violence and the tremendous suffering us men cause our girl children and women, and in some cases even to our young boys.

Our bodies go numb, and our hearts are filled with sorrow and grief when we read of the lives of women – from young girls to our elderly women folk – taken or their emotional wellbeing destroyed due to constant emotional and financial abuse by men who believe they have ownership over women. What we cannot afford, is the numbness to give way to accepting gender-based violence as the norm.

And while we trust that the criminal justice system must work to bring those who have committed wrongs to justice, we also need to work at holistically transforming our society for the better – one in which girls and women are valued and respected.

This involves instilling deep values of respect and decency within our homes, our education institutions, our communities, places of worship, the workplace and in our social circles.

Over and above ensuring our female colleagues are empowered, promoted, supported and feel safe in our workplace, in 2019 we started a movement – Men of Honour – a call-to-action for men at CCBSA to really start looking within themselves, recognise their emotional fragility, and how they define and view masculinity, gender roles and gender-based violence.

Men of Honour is also a space where they can start taking their mental and physical wellbeing seriously, without any judgment. The sessions are invaluable and continue to offer opportunities for men to reflect on themselves and each other in a deep, meaningful way that leaves a lasting impact.

We need to be brave and call out misogyny when we see or hear it around us, the catcalling at public transport interchanges, how men speak among themselves about women. Let us educate and begin to heal our brokenness.

  • No child is born a racist
  • No child is born a monster
  • No boy child is born an abuser

As men, we must accept responsibility for how we raise our children – especially our boys – and the example we set for them.

It is only when we see the true value of women in every aspect of our society that young girls and boys will begin to fully understand, appreciate, and most importantly, respect the role and importance of women.

Our girl and boy children need to grow up, see and understand what is possible and that gender – just as with race or any other classification – does not define who they are and what they can achieve.

If we are to create a better, more equal, prosperous and safer world for women, these are the learnings and values which we have to inculcate from a young age.

We must learn to connect and collaborate and build social contracts which strengthen the fabric of our society and create a place where women are safe, secure and fully recognised.

So, together, we need to educate, nurture, heal and build the future in which we are not only equal, and we can share in a prosperous future for all, but a future where women feel safe. We owe it to our children, girls and boys.

ENDS

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 employ over 7500 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.

Related Press Releases

Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa Receives Prestigious Awards at Inaugural Worker Share Ownership Conference

Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) received high recognition at the inaugural Worker Share Ownership Conference, organised by The Department of Trade Industry and Competition (dtic)....

Topco Media Sets the Stage for Robust Dialogue at the Future of Sustainability Conference 2024

This year is set to be pivotal for global sustainability initiatives across all industries and Topco Media is committed to fostering robust dialogue at the Future of Sustainability Conference scheduled...

CCBSA Study Buddy Fund bursary programme calls for student applications

Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has opened the application process to matric students and first time University applicants across the country for its Study Buddy Fund bursary programme for the...
© Copyright CCBSA 2024 | All Rights Reserved
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.