By Charndré Emma Kippie
Mr. Velaphi Ratshefola is the dedicated, tenacious Managing Director who is driving the success of Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA), in their efforts to empower women in their organisation, and South Africa. Velaphi is also the chairperson of the Beverage Association of South Africa.
Top Male Driving Gender Empowerment
On Thursday 4 November 2021, he received the Standard Bank Top Women Award in the category: Top Male Driving Gender Empowerment for a third time, as he had received this honour in 2019 and 2020 as well.
This award is given to the male executive, leader or CEO who has continuously been implementing and achieving gender empowerment initiatives, policies and programmes, and who demonstrates the growth and success generated by his own vision.
“As we speak [this evening], one of our good ladies [at CCBSA] has been appointed as a Managing Director for the Coca-Cola business, in Ghana, starting in January 2022”, said Velaphi as he accepted his award.
“It is so critical, if we want to advance our country and our businesses, that we tap into the talent of all our people – irrespective of gender, irrespective of race. I am so privileged by this award. Thank you so much! This is just an inspiration for us to continue marching forward. Not just at CCBSA, but as corporate South Africa…we must play our role.”
Velaphi is committed to creating a conducive environment for women to thrive and ensure they realise their fullest potential and career aspirations. His vision and passion for gender balance and inclusion, has seen the company having 37.5% of women in top management, 40.5% representation of women in senior management, 44% in the middle management, and 33.2% in junior management.
A pioneering leader
Velaphi has come a long way since his very first job as a Public Prosecutor, obtaining a BJuris and LLB degree from North-West University (NWU), as well as a Diploma in Labour Relations from the University of Cape Town (UCT). Today, he has more than 28 years’ working experience spanning the legal field, human resources field, and sales and operations.
Velaphi Ratshefola had the privilege of leading the integration of six different entities to build Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa. Until his appointment as CCBSA Managing Director, in 2016, he was MD of ABI Bottling PTY (LTD). He was instrumental in establishing the business’ Route to Market plan which is globally renowned, leading to the creation of thousands of local jobs and double-digit sales growth in the traditional market class of trade.
As he constantly reaffirms his commitment to the empowerment of women, Velaphi has received many accolades, including the Women in Leadership Award at the Coca-Cola Beverages Africa GMM. In 2019, Velaphi established the Men of Honour, a call-to-action for men at CCBSA to engage more honestly around the issues that impact women and encourage them to contribute towards stopping GBV.
Velaphi has also led the CCBSA to winning multiple global and supplier awards.
*Missed the Standard Bank Top Women Virtual Awards 2021? Catch all the nominees and winners here
*Check out the latest edition of the Public Sector Leaders publication here.
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