Coca-Cola adds more fizz to employee-ownership scheme

Written by More Matshediso

Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel has commended Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) for enabling employees to own shares in the company. Proud share owner is Lerato Kgasi who joined CCBSA in May 2019 as a cleaner.

He says this is an important step in creating an inclusive economy in South Africa. 

The Ikageng Employee Share Trust will benefit nearly 8 000 South African-based employees currently employed at CCBSA, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa CCBSA and Appletiser. 

Every employee will receive an equal allocation of shares, regardless of staff level, race or years of service.

According to the updated CCBSA Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) ownership condition, employees’ ownership will be increased, with a significant worker-ownership component.

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

“We remain committed to the ideal of transformation and B-BBEE, and this investment is driven by the recognition that employees are our biggest asset, as they enable the innovation, growth and the sustainable development of our company,” Ratshefola adds. 

Minister Patel says the commitment from CCBSA to increase the level of worker ownership in the company, deepen the level of transformation in the sugar value chain and support the broader localisation drive in the economy, are important steps in our efforts to create a more inclusive economy in South Africa.

“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,” he says. 

Lerato Kgasi (34) of Alexandra in Gauteng joined CCBSA, in May 2019, as a cleaner at the Linbro Park branch and later moved to the Pretoria manufacturing plant. 

She says owning shares in the company she works for is a major step for her and fellow employees. 

“This is creating a legacy for our future generations, a future built on our combined actions as owners and employees of CCBSA. When we take pride in the business, we all go the extra mile or find new and more efficient ways of working,” she says.

“Being a shareholder, I have a sense of belonging. I’m a proud owner and CCBSA employee,” says Kgasi.