None of the existing 182 employees of the Louis Trichardt and Tzaneen Deports of Coca-Cola Beverages SA (CCBSA) will be retrenched or financially affected negatively because of the planned closure of two Coca-Cola depots in the province.
The company will be closing five depots countrywide, two of which are in Limpopo.
Pirtunia Dhlamini, the company’s Public Affairs and Communications Manager for the Northern Region said all employees at the depots will be redeployed. Ninety-two employees from Louis Trichardt will be redeployed to the Louis Trichardt Sales unit, Polokwane or other sites, presenting them with greater opportunities for promotion and career growth. The 90 affected employees in Tzaneen will be redeployed to Polokwane and the Tzaneen sales offices, according to Dhlamini.
The Coca-Cola Company and Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) in December reached an agreement regarding the transition of AB InBev’s 54,5% equity stake in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa for US$3,15 billion. This comes after AB InBev took over SABMiller earlier last year for R1,5 trillion, a move that created the world’s biggest beer maker.
“Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa is in the final stages of consultation with our employees with regards to anticipated labour redeployments resulting from the closure of our Louis Trichardt and Tzaneen depots with effect of 6 March,” Dhlamini said. She said the decision was impacted by factors such as the low growth rate of the South African economy coupled with unprecedented increases in some of their raw-material costs as well as other factors.
South African competition authorities who regulated the billion-dollar merger deal made sure that no workers will lose their jobs, as conditions for the merger included that no employee at any level may be retrenched within the first five years following the merger, as it will be assumed that the retrenchment happened because of the merger.
Dhlamini said the company will retain sales offices in Louis Trichardt and Tzaneen for the local sales teams, the numbers which are anticipated to grow in future. The markets currently serviced from Tzaneen and Louis Trichardt will in future be fully supplied and serviced from Polokwane as well as by local distribution partners.
Story: NELIE ERASMUS