THE country’s largest distributor of soft drinks, Delta Beverages, has been hit by serious water shortages, a trend which has greatly affected the company’s ability to meet consumer deman
The failure to get adequate water supplies from the Harare City Council has now resulted in retail outlets limiting the number of drinks clients can purchase.
During the past six months, however, Delta, which controls and markets the Coca-Cola brand name has seen its production improve when compared to last year.
The company’s recent production levels have been affected by the water woes.
Delta needs large quantities of water for purification and during the production of fizzy drinks.
Council spokesperson Lesley Gwindi confirmed the problems Delta was facing and said a series of meetings had been held with the company.
“We have met and spoken to the guys from Coca-Cola Central Africa,” he said. “We looked at the problems they are facing and we both agreed that these would continue for sometime.
“The problem of water will continue as it is not only confined to Delta.”
During the last festive season Coca-Cola was affected by problems of gas procurement from a South African firm.
Delta is again having problems procuring carbon dioxide from a South African firm because of foreign currency constraints. Carbon dioxide is used during the production of soft drinks to produce the fizzy product.
Delta spokesperson George Mutendadzamera confirmed that since July 30 they had been experiencing production interruptions which resulted in a supply backlog.
“Volumes are significantly ahead of the same period last year and this has been so for three months in a row,” he said.
“While this is very good for our business it makes the impact of recent water supply problems quite severe on our customers.”
He said although they had met with City of Harare officials on the water problems, it would take time to reduce the existing supply gaps.
He could, however, not be drawn into commenting on the problems of gas shortages.
Although the company is understood to be facing problems due to the non-availability of bottles from Zimglass (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe Ltd, the managing director of the parastatal Mike Ndudzo said the firm still had sufficient quantities of glass in stock.
“We have not reduced any production but we are rebuilding our plant,” Ndudzo said.