Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) celebrated the expansion of its PH Gutsche Scholarship Fund by hosting its growing network of beneficiaries, marking the initiative’s seventh anniversary of year on year growth.
The Bursary Scheme, started in 2013 to assist children from previously disadvantaged areas, has been expanded to include CCBSA employees and their children as a key part of economic sustainability and brand development.
“To date, we have provided bursaries for over 70 beneficiaries and invested over R2.5 million,” says Michael Tsholo, general manager for Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa’s Coastal Region. “We noted very early on that this programme had to become more than just a corporate social responsibility programme, but a key talent development and economic sustainability initiative.”
The Fund is one of the four pillars that form CCBSA’s Youth Education Support (YES) Programme designed to support the company’s priority pipeline for meeting transformation objectives through education. The three others are the Ikamva Youth, Ligbron E-learning and Youth Leadership and Entrepreneurship Development (YLED).
The event was attended by a number of PH Gutsche Scholarship Fund beneficiaries based in Port Elizabeth and the MEC of the Department of Education Eastern Cape, Mr. Fundile Gade.
Beneficiaries were later accompanied on an extensive tour of CCBSA’s Port Elizabeth bottling plant, where they were encouraged to identify areas they could see themselves pursuing in their careers, meeting key team members in the operation process.
“We are looking forward to the next phase of the Fund’s evolution, which will include strategic internships to provide a reliable and long-term talent pool as we expand our product range and footprint,” Tsholo says.