Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has increased its Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) ownership to a revised 20% target, with a significant worker ownership component.

“This updated agreement will result in employees increasing their current holding of around 5% in CCBSA to an approximate 15% shareholding in CCBSA,” CCBSA Managing Director Velaphi Ratshefola said.

CCBSA, together with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) and the Competition Authorities announced the agreement on the updated CCBSA B-BBEE ownership condition on Friday.

CCBSA has also agreed to additional commitments, which will positively impact employees, existing B-BBEE shareholders and South African localisation initiatives.

CCBSA will also be assisting government with the creation of a localisation platform that sits at the heart of government’s economic recovery plan, by contributing R80 million per year for three years to localisation initiatives that form part of the national efforts to rebuild the economy.

“We have also undertaken to collaborate with our sugar suppliers to increase the volume of sugarcane procured from Black farmers,” Ratshefola said.

Minister of the dtic Ebrahim Patel said the commitment from CCBSA to increase the level of worker ownership in the company deepens the level of transformation in the sugar value chain and supports the broader localisation drive in the economy.

He said the decision to increase B-BBEE ownership is important in the country’s efforts to create a more inclusive economy.

“It’s an example of what companies can do, and we look forward to others following their lead, as we drive an enhanced model of broad-based transformation, through worker empowerment, in our country,” Patel said.

“We want to thank Minister Patel, the dtic and the Competition Authorities for the constructive and positive engagement which has resulted in an effective solution, in a very challenging environment, that directly benefits both the employees of CCBSA and assists government with their important localisation initiatives, which is fully supported by the Coca-Cola system in South Africa.

“We look forward to the strengthening of our partnership with government in this way and it underscores our commitment to doing business the right way by creating a better, more inclusive future for all,” Ratshefola said.

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