Local bottler Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages (CCPB), in partnership with the Coca-Cola Foundation and participating suppliers, are finalising details for the provision of millions of litres of relief water to the drought-affected Western Cape and the City of Cape Town.
CCPB on Thursday said this formed part of its commitment to helping the city mitigate the impact of Day Zero, which is anticipated to occur in April.
This initiative, the company explains, is dependent on CCPB being able to use alternate water sources to supplement the use of municipal water.
The prepared water will be provided in a 2 ℓ recyclable polyethylene terephthalate bottle, said CCPB public affairs and communications manager Priscilla Urquhart.
She further noted that the bottles would be clearly marked "not for resale" and would also be produced to supply to emergency sites as determined by the Provincial Task Team on Water and the Disaster Risk Management team.
"CCPB will be working closely with the relevant authorities to ensure full approvals of all aspects of this water relief undertaking," she averred.
On the existing bottled water products being sold, CCPB has already implemented a discount structure with its retail customers on the BonAqua 1.5 litre [still] water in order to provide this product to consumers at affordable prices.
All nonflavoured Bonaqua and Valpre bottled water sold in the Western Cape is produced and brought in from outside the Western Cape.
"We are deeply concerned by the water crisis facing the city and have implemented many changes and efficiencies across our operations to ensure it is water efficient," said Urquhart.
CCPB has invested in a number of initiatives to reduce its reliance on municipal water, which include the potential use of professionally installed boreholes which are currently being tested in terms of sustainability and impact on the environment.
CCPB is also working with the relevant authorities to facilitate the speedy issuing of the necessary licences to ensure that municipal water supplies are protected.
The company has installed a 1.5-million litre bulk water tank at the plant to ensure a buffer in supply once the boreholes are approved and operational. It has also acquired three 33 000 ℓ food-grade water tankers to transport water from sources outside the water-stressed areas.
"In addition, CCPB has committed R1-million to fund an entrepreneurship initiative in conjunction with the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape government to fund new ideas that will stimulate the 'water-wise economy' in the Western Cape," said Urquhart.