Delta Beverages resume operations after Coca-Cola Company intervention

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By Alois Vinga

DELTA Beverages has resumed operations, after months of struggling to secure foreign currency required to restore full operations at the nation’s leading soft drinks manufacturer.

In an interview with Business, Thursday   the company’s corporate affairs executive, Patricia Murambinda revealed that production had kicked off athough at a very slow pace.

“As communicated in our last trading update for full year ending March 2019, the Coca-Cola business was virtually closed during the quarter due to non-availability of imported raw materials.

“Operations have resumed albeit at a slow pace. There are ongoing collaborative interventions together with The Coca-Cola Company to restore the business to a sustainable footing,” Murambinda said.

The beverages manufacturer has returned lower priced beverages.

A 300ml soft drink bottle will now be selling at RTGS$1.25 while 330ml can is going for flavours will be selling at RTGS$1.80 and 500ml PET for coke is going for RTGS$2.00.

A 500ml PET for all flavours is going for RTGS$2.15 while a 1litre RGB will retail at RTGS$3.60 and 2 Litres PET is selling at RTGS$6.40.

Early this years the prices of soft drinks shot up as production levels plummeted amid dire foreign currency shortages.

Murambinda could not be drawn into revealing the exact nature of Coca-Cola’s interventions but indicated the issue of raw material shortages was still a problem.

Delta needs between US$60 million to US$75 million to meet its foreign obligations annually and has been struggling to get this allocation from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and local financial institutions.

The company was recently forced to halt the Rusape Chibuku Plant construction after failing to raise enough foreign currency to import key components needed for the project.