27 July 2006
Nestle SA plans to invest a further R300-million in South Africa over the next three years, the local arm of the Swiss-based company announced on the eve of its 90th anniversary in the country.
The world’s largest food and beverage firm was registered as a company in South Africa in 1916, 44 years after its first products arrived in 1872. Nestle has 13 factories in the country, employing over 4 000 people.
Speaking to reporters in Johannesburg on Wednesday, Nestle SA chairman and managing director Yves Manghardt said the company also planned to extend its business in southern and eastern Africa.
At present, about 85% of its R6-billion regional turnover comes from South Africa alone. “We shall start to balance the 85:15 equilibrium to make it 50:50, but not at the cost of South Africa,” Manghardt told the SA Press Association (Sapa).
On black economic empowerment (BEE), Manghardt said his company was waiting for the BEE the charter for the food and beverages sector to be finalised.
At the same time, he noted that Nestle has long been involved in empowerment-related activities in South Africa, such as setting up small businesses and other social responsibility programmes, especially in agriculture.
In its recently published “Nestle Commitment to Africa Report”, the company notes that it supports “a number of major projects in Africa aimed at reducing diseases such as HIV/Aids, also at reducing malnutrition and poverty.
“But Nestle’s greatest contribution to Africa is through the impact of our core business, with responsible, sustainable operations that create jobs and catalyse entrepreneurship.”