Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa – taking water management to another level

Nhlanhla Yende, Regional Manufacturing Manager for CCBSA Coastal Region, outlines his company’s comprehensive approach to water.

Nhlanhla Yende, Regional Manufacturing Manager for CCBSA Coastal Region
Nhlanhla Yende

Nhlanhla Yende started his career in 1999 as a metrologist, specialising in fluid flow for air, water and hydrocarbons at the National Metrology Institute of South Africa. He has over 16 years’ experience in Fast Moving Consumer Goods, one of which was spent at Mercedes-Benz working as a Quality Engineer and the balance at CCBSA where he held numerous operational roles in Manufacturing. He is currently responsible for four plants, in Durban, Port Elizabeth and Elgin.

What is the extent of the CCBSA footprint in the Coastal Region?

We have a total of 656 employees in the four manufacturing sites. From these sites, we service KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, and in the Western Cape we supply all Appletiser products and Coca-Cola products in cans packages.

What are the principles of CCBSA’s water policy?

The CCBSA water strategy is made of these pillars: To optimise the use of water within our operations by implementing industry best practices. To achieve a water balance – make the same amount of water used to make our beverages available to the communities in which we operate and to leverage our system expertise and partnerships to enhance and support local governments’ capabilities in our markets.

Please explain your water protection plans.

We have water recovery processes in our production facilities, which allows us to reuse water for non-production related activities, like cleaning. We also have been investing in rainwater harvesting and groundwater initiatives to diversify our sources. To this end, we have two sites which are using at least 10% to 15% of their total water from these alternative sources.

What steps are being taken in the Eastern Cape to reduce water usage?

We have two boreholes in our Port Elizabeth plant, which is helping us to reduce our dependency on surface water. The plant is constantly monitoring the ratio of water used in the production processes for each litre of product to ensure we can eliminate waste. We reuse the water from the production process for sanitation.

Do you treat wastewater?

We constantly monitor the effluent water to ensure we do not cause harm to the environment. In instances where we find that the pH value of the effluent is high, we treat it. We also monitor the levels of dissolved oxygen.

Are there CCBSA water access projects in communities in need?

Yes, through an initiative driven by our Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability team, there are a total of seven groundwater harvesting projects on the go. Five of those projects have been completed and handed over to the communities. Two of the five completed projects are in the Eastern Cape, in Ngcobo and Queenstown.

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