SOUTH AFRICA – Swiss food giant Nestle has announced a major investment plan worth US$ 180 million in its South African operations, Nestle South Africa.

The company has also appointed a new head of its South African operations, as part of management changes they have carried out in the country.

Ian Donald has been appointed the company’s new Chairman and Managing Director, replacing Sullivan O’Carroll who will retire at the end of September 2014.

Prior to his return to South Africa, Donald was Market Head for Nestlé in the Equatorial African Region where he was responsible for 21 countries.

In its announcement, the company states that the “investment will be focused on capacity building, general capital refurbishment, biomass boilers and converting Nestlé’s Mossel Bay dairy factory to a water neutral one”.

The new investment is in line with Nestlé South Africa’s existing investment plan.

The investment will be worth some South African rand 2 billion (CHF 170 million, US$ 180 million) and will run for five years.

“Nestlé believes in Africa as an investment destination and part of our ongoing investment will include increasing capacity for our coffee factory in Estcourt, Kwa-Zulu Natal with the aim of creating a coffee hub for the region,” said Donald.

Donald succeeds. A South African citizen who has been with Nestlé for more than 40 years, Donald brings back to the country a wealth of experience in emerging markets.

Nestlé South Africa is one of the country’s biggest food and beverage companies and Nestlé’s second biggest market in Africa.

The company has factories and distribution centres spread across the country from which coffee, ice cream, infant foods, dairy, pet food, water and chocolates are manufactured and distributed.

The company states that the new “investment plan is expected to contribute significantly towards rural development in the country and enhance the company’s operations via increased efficiency and capacity.”Nestle