Coca-Cola Helps Secure South Africa’s Water Future

JAMII platform consolidates Coca-Cola’s Africa-focused sustainability initiatives 

Four new projects announced to replenish water in key catchments 

Over the last decade, several major economic centres in South Africa have faced severe droughts. Currently, 63% of South Africans live in urban centers, which is expected to increase to 80% by 2050. For South Africa, securing long-term water stress solutions and replenishing the water we use back to communities and nature is intricately linked with the country’s economic prosperity.  

Aligned with this approach, Coca-Cola in South Africa, The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF), and its implementing partners are investing in the country’s future alongside stakeholders from across the spectrum to protect the country’s source waters.  

“Water is a valuable natural resource whose management requires all our commitment and collective actions. Access to water is linked to the economic empowerment of people,” said the  Vice President of Coca-Cola’s South Africa Franchise, Phillipine Mtikitiki. Coca-Cola’s water stewardship strategy aims to replenish 100% of all the water we use in our beverages by 2030.  

Earlier this year, the Coca-Cola Africa Operating Unit (AOU) and its bottling partners launched  JAMII – a new Africa-focused sustainability platform that houses existing and new sustainability initiatives, building and expanding on three focus areas: waste management, water stewardship,  and economic empowerment of women and youth. 

“Through JAMII, we are partnering with government and communities to assess, understand and drive effective sustainability goals. These will include providing people with access to safe drinking water, creating economic opportunities for people in dire need of it, or reducing the impact of our operations on the environment,” said Mtikitiki. 

Beginning in 2022, The Coca-Cola Foundation is investing in four new projects that will remove  “thirsty” invasive alien plants from critical water catchment areas feeding major cities and towns across the country. These projects, which received $989,571 in grant funding, will help to return precious liters to nature. Alien invasive plants consume millions of liters of water each year in these areas, resulting in water shortages and permanent loss to an already stressed water system.  

In collaboration with implementing partners such as the Living Lands in the Langkloof and  Baviaanskloof in the Eastern Cape, the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), and The Nature  Conservancy (TNC), these four projects have the overarching programmatic goal of increasing water security through improved upstream watershed management, resilience building, and community empowerment. In addition, they will support the advancement of sustainable, circular economy initiatives that will enhance the livelihoods of women and youth in rural communities plagued by high unemployment. 

As climate change exacerbates South Africa’s water-stressed development, adopting nature-based solutions will ensure the sustainability of the country’s water supply, sanitation, food, and energy production. The Coca-Cola Foundation and its local implementing partners are leading strategic investments that protect critical watersheds and optimise the country’s water supply into the future. 

Links: Replenish African Initiative (RAIN) to help restore the Umzimbvu water area surrounding Matatiele

Coke The Secret Formula EP8: Highlights Special

The Soutpansberg’s Water Conservation Initiative

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