SOUTH AFRICA – Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) has handed over an R12m (US$12 million) groundwater harvesting mega project to residents of drought-stricken Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape

The Coke Ville mega project is expected to provide a total number of 3,882 households in Asherville, Kroonvale and Adendorp area with a much-needed boost in their water supply.

According to Nozicelo Ngcobo, Director of Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability at CCBSA, the newly-installed Coke Ville systems have the capacity to deliver over 324 million litres of drinkable water per year, using the installed 89.7 kW solar PV system.

Graaff-Reinet, the fourth oldest town in South Africa, has been dealing with recurrent droughts that have led to low water levels in the Nqweba Dam, the town’s primary water source. As the town’s population has grown, so have the challenges associated with water supply.

“CCBSA had an opportunity to use its resources to be part of the solution in Graaff-Reinet, and after conducting feasibility studies and due diligence, we found that there was enough ground water, we determined that our solar-powered Coke Ville system would provide the ideal solution to assist the town.”

Groundwater has become an increasingly important source of water in South Africa as other sources dry up due to prolonged drought.

As a major user of water, CCBSA has introduced Coke Ville to pump, treat, store, and distribute clean water to communities in need in multiple locations in South Africa at no cost to the residents.

Thus far, CCBSA has installed Coke Ville systems in Limpopo, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Eastern Cape, including in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan area which in recent years has faced a devastating drought.

According to Ngcobo, each Coke Ville comes complete with a tank stand, storage tanks, a lockable manhole for the pump, an alarm system for security, palisade fencing around the tank stand and solar panels with lockable gate. The taps are located outside the system to allow communities to fetch water at their convenience.

“The deployment of the Coke Villes is part of the company’s commitment to replenish every drop of water we use back to communities and the environment as part of the company’s 2030 Water Security Strategy,” Ngcobo added.

“As a company that uses water as one of its key ingredients, we are very conscious of the importance of preserving water for future generations, as we operate in a water-scarce country that’s also prone to droughts.”

To date, CCBSA has distributed over 658 million litres of water to over 35,000 households throughout the country.

Globally, The Coca-Cola Company’s Water Security Strategy 2030, is a three-pronged strategy to water, which is focused on regenerative operations, healthy watersheds, and ultimately supporting the resilient communities.