Gauteng, 07th October 2020 – As the South African economy continues to steadily reopen, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has rolled out sixteen township shipping container businesses in Merafong Municipality, Gauteng. This forms part of the company’s Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP), which works to foster entrepreneurship and economic opportunities in underprivileged communities.
In June 2020, following the brief suspension of the programme due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the programme resumed with sites earmarked in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Gauteng.
“These businesses will bring much-needed jobs in a community that has been persistently economically distressed, and more so now as a result of the pandemic,” says Nozicelo Ngcobo – Public Affairs, Communication & Sustainability Director, CCBSA. “In addition to direct employment, they will stimulate the secondary economy, including a variety of product suppliers, service providers and increased foot-traffic which will naturally attract symbiotic businesses.”
The rollout is the culmination of a national process that began in 2018, when a series of townhall sessions were conducted, followed by applications by interested young entrepreneurs.
In Gauteng (Merafong and Ekurhuleni) alone, a total of 68 applicants were chosen to participate in a rigorous training programme. Of this group25 of the most committed candidates were ultimately allocated container businesses which include equipment and stock, all to the value of R175 000. The businesses range from fast food outlets, grocery store, car wash with shisanyama and internet cafe. Each of these businesses are expected to employ one or two other people to assist with running operations.
“These enterprises will have a meaningful impact on the local economy as they are tailored to both the needs of the community, as well as the personal interests of each of the candidates,” says Ngcobo.
Following the launch in Merafong, CCBSA is preparing for its next Bizniz in a Box rollouts in Bushbukridge in Mpumalanga and Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal. This will be unveiled towards the end of 2020 or early 2021.
To date, CCBSA and its partners have trained more than 700 young entrepreneurs and helped 140 of them take their businesses to the next level, creating 68 additional jobs through employing shop assistants. CCBSA aims to develop more viable, successful youth entrepreneurs by 2021, creating new hope for young people in townships.
“With each new community that we implement the project in, we document the things that worked and those that posed challenges,” says Ngcobo. “This enables the programme to be more effective, from the application and training phases, all the way to when we hand over the keys to the business, so each entrepreneur has a much higher chance of sustainable success over the long-term.”
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.