14 January 2013

Namibia: Bottler Apologises for Coke Shortage

NAMIBIA Beverages has apologised for letting down its customers in the North by running out of Coca-Cola during the festive season.

The apology from managing director Frik Oosthuizen comes after an outcry by businesspeople in the North.

On Thursday, a meeting was held at Oshakati between the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) northern branch and representatives of Namibia Beverages, including Oosthuizen.

In a press release following the meeting, Namibia Beverages said it regretted letting its customers down.

According to Oosthuizen, Coca-Cola was in particularly high demand over the past festive season.

Because of an ever-increasing demand for the product in the North, the company found it difficult to keep up the supply, Oosthuizen said.

Last week, a group of businesspeople furious about the shortage staged a demonstration - against the advice of the NCCI's northern branch and its chairperson Tomas Iindji.

The businesspeople accused Namibia Beverages' sales representatives of nepotism in the distribution of Coca-Cola to retailers.

Oosthuizen undertook to address the complaints. He said a proper logistics plan would be devised for the collection of returnable bottles, the handling of orders and the ordering of stock.

It was also decided that the current production facilities should be expanded.

A follow-up meeting is scheduled for March.

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