Though formally recognised in 1996, this day’s historical roots dig deep into the landscape that shapes our nation. Coca‑Cola has a passionate belief in the power of historical memory. The company arrived in the South African market in 1928, and today we are proud of what we have achieved as a global company with lasting local roots. Our numerous brands are enjoyed by South Africa's diverse population, and our business continues to positively impact the local communities where we work and operate.
South Africa is indisputably a beautiful country and protecting its natural resources is a fundamental part of protecting its heritage. Therefore, Coca‑Cola in South Africa, prioritises sustainability in all aspects of our daily operations.
In early 2022, Coca‑Cola and its bottling partners, launched JAMII, a unified platform that houses the company's sustainability initiatives. JAMII focuses on three strategic pillars of waste management, water stewardship and economic empowerment for women and youth. JAMII also seeks to attract like-minded partners to help accelerate the impact of its initiatives.
Water conservation is a national priority and great strides have been taken to preserve wetlands through the removal of invasive vegetation. In early 2022, The Coca‑Cola Foundation (TCCF) invested in four new projects to remove thirsty invasive alien plants that consume millions of litres each year. These projects, which received $987, 571 in grant funding, will help replenish precious litres to nature and support the advancement of sustainable, circular economy initiatives.
Similar past initiatives with the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) yielded positive results. In South Africa, $1, 275M was invested in five water replenishment projects that cleared 3,400ha of alien vegetation. In addition, the projects partnered with 100 local schools, teaching students about water conservation and sanitation.
We also take it upon ourselves to help preserve another iconic heritage site, Robben Island. This September, in recognition of Clean-Up and Recycle Week, a crowd of 165 people, including members from Coca‑Cola Peninsula Beverages and the local community, collected 750 trash bags off the Robben Island coastline. Similar clean-up initiatives took place across the country, which were led by Coca‑Cola Beverages South Africa, resulting in a collection of thousands of bags of trash.
Waste management is a fundamental pillar in Coca‑Cola’s sustainability agenda. As part of our World Without Waste initiative, we have committed to collecting and recycling the equivalent of a bottle or can for each one we produce by 2030. Through our partnership with PETCO, the PET recycling company, we have invested in numerous collection and recycling initiatives to make this a reality. Through PETCO, we support more than 63% of plastic recycling efforts in South Africa. Thanks to 2021’s recycling and collection efforts, 90 402 tonnes of post-consumer PET were collected, saving 560 495 cubic meters of landfill space.
A pioneering new initiative is the digitisation of the recycling industry. With the funding support of TCCF, PETCO is leading Project Up, which uses BanQu, a blockchain technology. BanQu is an innovative records management platform that has revolutionised how recyclable materials are traded, tracked, and traced. As a result, for the first time, South Africa is building a national digital record of recyclables.
Coca‑Cola in South Africa continues to stimulate job creation across our value chain, from procuring locally produced ingredients to supporting the customers who sell our beverages. Together with our bottling partners the Coca‑Cola System (as it is known) directly employs approximately 10,000 people. In addition, the System contributes to the economic development of local communities through taxes by purchasing goods, services, and capital equipment from local suppliers and pioneering social development initiatives.
We continue to invest in the growth of local brands. Brands such as Stoney, Appletiser and Grapetiser receive substantial marketing investment and distribution support. Thanks to these efforts, they are recognisable icons enjoyed in homes across the country.
This year, Coca‑Cola in South Africa, a global company with a proudly South African heritage, boasts a legacy of 94 years of refreshing South African consumers.