Coca-Cola and its largest local bottler, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) have now increased the amount pledged to assist victims of the Easter weekend floods in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape from R600 000 to R1 million. This comes after the company announced its initial R600 000 commitment on Friday, the 26th of April.
“Now that the government has begun assessing the damage, it is clear that it is even more extensive than originally thought. Estimates vary, but it seems as though we are talking in the hundreds of millions. Major infrastructure needs to be replaced or repaired, but also individual families have to put their lives back together—houses and possessions need to be replaced,” says Nolundi Mzimba – CCBSA Regional Public Affairs and Communications Manager. “We felt that increasing our pledge was the least we could do, and we are calling on other companies to step forward and do the same.
“Business is part of the broader community, and at times like this we need to play our part in supporting those who are suffering.”
In their initial announcement, Coca-Cola and CCBSA indicated that their contribution would go beyond the financial, in line with their company policy of going the extra mile. They formed partnerships with various stakeholders to help clean up the beaches on which large amounts of plastic and litter had been deposited by the floods.
For example, CCBSA employees joined Wildlife and Environment Society South Africa (WESSA) on Saturday 27 April, for their monthly beach clean-up, which took place at Wells Estate Beach in Port Elizabeth In the Eastern Cape.
“On Friday, the 26th of April, CCBSA employees worked with learners and teachers from our schools Recycling Programme to clean up Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve in Durban and we collected an estimated 376 bags of refuse,” she adds. While on Monday, the 29th of April 120 CCBSA employees spent the day cleaning up the Nature Reserve in partnership with Plastics SA and collected 560 bags.
“We are committed to being good corporate citizens, and that means coming to the aid of the communities from which our customers and employees are reside,” Mzimba concludes. “We recognise the power of grassroots action in the way we do business, and in how we are helping to empower black South Africans. That same principle underpins what we are trying to do here.”