Coke’s top test lab opens in SA

first_imgThe Coca-Cola contour bottle, SouthAfrican style. (Image: Coca-Cola)Janine ErasmusCoca-Cola, the world’s top beverage manufacturer, has opened a state-of-the-art laboratory complex in Midrand, north of Johannesburg. The African Technical Centre is Coca-Cola’s most technologically advanced facility globally, the company says.Built in a year at a cost of R46.6-million (US$6-million) and opened earlier in 2008, the new centre tests Coca-Cola products from 162 bottlers in 56 African countries. Finished products, raw materials and waste are tested every month to ensure African-produced Coca-Cola products consistently keep to the high standard they have already set.The Midrand facility offers analytical and technical support, conducting physical and chemical tests that include temperature, pressure, water quality and acid content. It will have a staff complement of 32 skilled employees, of which 19 will be new jobs.Coca-Cola South Africa president William Egbe said at the opening ceremony that the company’s substantial investment was proof of its belief in South Africa as a place to do business, and was not deterred by the recent power crisis. Egbe added that Coca Cola will use South Africa as the basis for its activities across the continent.Minister of Science and Technology Mosibudi Mangena was also in attendance at the opening ceremony, and said that the centre would help to promote good laboratory practice in South Africa. It would also uplift the African region and contribute valuable skills.“It will also leverage analytical capability, increase employment opportunities, and trigger innovation within the chemical industry,” he said. “We regard the Africa Technical Centre as a good example of your commitment to the upliftment of both industry and our people, leading to higher levels of economic growth and development, particularly through science and technology.According to Mangena, Coca-Cola directly contributes about R8.4-billion ($1.1-billion) to South Africa’s GDP and, directly and indirectly, is responsible for a remarkable 1.4% of the country’s GDP.Coca-Cola vice-president Carletta Ooton added that the company had invested in the most sophisticated analytical equipment available, and would use the laboratory as part of its strategy to build a greater understanding of its ingredients and products, as well as support global innovation and sustainable business values.Coca-Cola will open four other such facilities around the globe. One has already been established in China and the others will open in Mexico, Belgium and the US by the end of 2009.Supporting developing marketsCoca-Cola’s director of global laboratory operations John Ward says the trio of facilities would ensure product quality and support the company’s long-term growth in developing markets. “We need to extend our technical capability throughout those regions at a local level.”Ward said that the company was previously focused mainly on its headquarters in Atlanta, US, and European regional base in Brussels.According to, Coca-Cola is South Africa’s most admired brand name, and the leader in overall brand awareness, achieving a rating of 42%. South Africa is the company’s largest market in Africa, outselling by two-and-a-half times the next biggest market Nigeria, and accounting for 40% of the company’s entire African revenue.In 2006 Coca-Cola relocated its Africa region headquarters from Windsor in the UK to Johannesburg, indicating its commitment to its African, and particularly South African, market.A solid reputationCoca-Cola South Africa has been named as the country’s third most reliable company, according to the 2008 Reputation Institute survey, which was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers. It came in behind cellular provider Vodacom in the top position, followed by petrol manufacturer Sasol. The margins between the companies were very small, with Vodacom scoring 71.56%, Sasol 71.38% and Coca-Cola SA 71.18%.Coca-Cola in South Africa is manufactured and distributed by Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI), which in turn is part of the SABMiller stable. SABMiller bought out ABI’s minority shareholders in 2004 and delisted the company from the JSE stock exchange. SABMiller then sold ABI to its South African division, the South African Breweries.ABI, which originally listed on the JSE in 1989, and Coca-Cola have worked together under a franchise agreement for three decades, and ABI also distributes, Schweppes, Sparletta and Appletiser products in South Africa, as well as the Nestlé brand Nestea and a range of other juices, energy drinks and flavoured waters.The company operates six manufacturing plants around the South Africa, employing some 3 700 people, and its plants in Durban, Midrand and Pretoria, in particular, are regarded as world-class facilities.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at [email protected] articlesSouth Africa’s economyHeineken’s R7-billion SA plant SABMiller: global brewing giant Useful linksCoca-Cola South AfricaCoca-ColaSouth African BreweriesAmalgamated BeveragesDepartment of Science and Technologylast_img read more

South Africa, Somalia formalise ties

first_img14 March 2012 South Africa has established formal diplomatic relations with Somalia, and committed R100-million to help the transitional Somali government build adequate institutions of governance in the troubled Horn of Africa country. The South African government will work with Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and international partners to ensure that Somalia has institutions of governance that will be sustainable beyond the TFG’s mandate – which should ultimately see that country equipped to govern itself. South African International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane met with her Somali counterpart, Abdullahi Haji Hassan, in Pretoria on Tuesday. The two signed an agreement for the establishment of diplomatic relations – a move that will coordinate interaction between the two countries. Addressing journalists after the meeting, Nkoana-Mashabane said the R100-million would provide capacity and institution building, socio-economic support, as well as specified training in key government sectors. “This move will also afford us an opportunity to closely assess the situation in Somalia and propose interventions in partnership with Somalis and other key players towards the realisation of lasting and meaningful peace in Somalia.” Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa stood ready to share its own constitution-making experiences with Somalia.Diplomatic representation She added that South Africa’s High Commissioner to Kenya, Ndumiso Ntshinga, would be accredited to Somalia until circumstances allowed for the opening of a South African mission in Mogadishu. Pretoria currently engages with Somalia through the Somali embassy in Kenya. “We will also be happy to receive diplomatic representation from Somalia in the near future, which will not only enhance our bilateral relations and outreach to Somalia, but also serve Somali nationals in South Africa,” Nkoana-Mashabane said. Somalia has been plagued by internal strife for the past decade. Civil war, coupled with a hunger crisis – 750 000 people face imminent starvation, according to UN data – has rendered the country extremely vulnerable, and earned it a place among the top “failed states” in the world.Situation on the ground ‘stabilising’ Haji Hassan thanked South Africa for its support, and said they could learn a lot from SA’s experience, especially in constitution-making and peace-building. Asked about the situation on the ground in Mogadishu, and whether the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) had requested military assistance from South Africa, Haji Hassan said they had not, as the situation had stabilised, and that people had started rebuilding their lives. He added that South Africa was already doing a lot to help them. Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, has seen a huge influx of people fleeing hunger and civil war, making it difficult for the government to provide basic services. Pretoria has been active in responding to the humanitarian situation in Somalia, offering aid and logistical support for humanitarian efforts by Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries and the international community.Political solution ‘the only option’ Nkoana-Mashabane said a political solution was the only option to resolving the situation in Somalia, and encouraged all stakeholders who still remained outside of the peace process to participate in the talks to ensure an inclusive Somali-owned process and solution. “We would like to call on all Somali armed opposition groups, including Al Shabab, to lay down their arms and to join the peace process that has already been embarked upon,” Nkoana-Mashabane said, voicing concern about the continuing violence and loss of life in Somalia and the ongoing piracy [along] the country’s coast. Nkoana-Mashabane said she was, however, encouraged by the determination of the current Somali leadership to embark on a constitution-making process that would serve as the basis for a new political dispensation that would replace the current Transitional Federal Institutions by August 2012, when the TFG’s mandate expires. “We believe that the solution to piracy is on land, and that the issue of piracy will only be solved once there is political stability in Somalia. It is necessary that Somali institutions be strengthened to enable them to play their role in the prosecution of [pirates].” The two ministers also discussed efforts to bring home Bruno Pelizzari and Debbie Calitz, South African citizens long held hostage by Somali pirates. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Mandela Day book drive to get kids reading

first_img11 July 2014 Members of the public have been urged to donate books about Nelson Mandela and other liberation heroes to schools, libraries and other organisations in need as part of a new Mandela Day initiative by the Gauteng Department of Education, LeadSA and Proudly South African. The initiative, launched at the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Friday, aims to improve the literacy rate among young South Africans while preserving Mandela’s legacy. Pupils from Saheti, Roedean and Redhill primary schools got the ball rolling, making a generous donation of books that was received by Gauteng Education Minister Panyaza Lesufi. Madiba’s great-grandson, Luvuyo Mandela, speaking at the launch, said that beyond simply encouraging children to read, adults should act as role models in making sure that children saw them reading. “If [Nelson Mandela] wasn’t reading a newspaper, he was reading a book,” he said. “I would see this and it was hugely encouraging.” Also speaking at the launch, long-time friend of Mandela, Advocate George Bizos, talked about the importance of teachers as role models, citing his own experience growing up, as well as that of friend and politician Popo Molefe. “Both of us went to school and furthered our education because of one important teacher in each of our lives,” he said. Another of Mandela’s long-time friends, Ahmed Kathrada, spoke of his time on Robben Island as a prisoner during the struggle for freedom. “Even under adverse conditions, prison inmates would study. We would work in the sun with picks and shovels for eight hours, and then spend the night in our cells studying. “Madiba was always adamant about the importance of education,” Kathrada said, adding, in a message addressed to all young South Africans: “Our country needs skills in every direction. With your freedom, you have a major responsibility to serve yourself and South Africa by investing in education.” Lead SA’s Yusuf Abramjee said: “Let’s all join hands and see how, in each small way, we can contribute to the biggest Mandela Day we’ve ever seen. Please donate a book to your local library or school and join our pledge to keep the legacy of Madiba alive.” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Explosion at Kolkata Police Inspectors house wife injured

first_imgKolkata: The wife of an inspector of Kolkata Police was severely injured in an explosion inside her apartment at Kestopur under Baguiati police station area.All the three rooms inside the apartment owned by Debasish Roy have been totally damaged due to the impact of the blast that occurred at around 10 pm on Friday. The victim, his wife Sathi, who has been admitted to a private hospital on EM Bypass has suffered 90 percent burn injuries and is in a critical state. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaRoy was watching television in his drawing room with his brother-in-law and Sathi had gone to the kitchen when the incident took place. “I have been working with the Kolkata Police for several years now. But I have never heard such a loud noise of an explosion.”As I heard the noise coming from the kitchen, I rushed inside to find my wife lying there with severe burn injuries and all furniture including the doors and windows badly damaged due to its impact,” Debasish, who lives on the ground floor of Trimurti Apartment in Hanapara area, said. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayOfficers investigating the case were completely in the dark when they initially visited the residence as no smell of any inflammable article could be detected. They sought help from forensic experts to throw light on the reason for the explosion. Forensic experts who visited the spot were able to ascertain the probable cause that resulted in the incident after examining the kitchen and the rooms inside the apartment.”Prima facie, it seems that there was a leakage inside the kitchen that was confined. As soon as there was ignition of the gas oven, it exploded resulting in the doors and windows of the house being damaged. The air conditioner was on at that time and the doors and windows were closed,” said Wasim Raja, senior scientist at State Forensic Science Laboratory.last_img read more