Coca-Cola will ask consumers to bring their IDs as proof of their names after a profane XiTsonga word appeared on one of its cans last week.
At events across the country, South Africans can currently get their names printed on Coca-Cola cans.
At one such "activation", a can with the word "Xitombo" (vagina) was printed and photos of it was subsequently circulated on social media.
In a strongly-worded tweet, former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa called the can "an insult to women":
This is a matter that the Gender Commission, the ANCWL and other women and gender organization and the department of women in the Presidency should have taken up with @CocaCola_ZA It is an insult to women let alone it being vulgar. Heads should roll including those who approved https://t.co/W78AGYSVyW— Mbhazima Shilowa (@Enghumbhini) February 2, 2019
Speaking to Business Insider South Africa, Shilowa said "the word is insulting, vulgar and promotes misogyny".
He believes Coca-Cola has not taken enough responsibility, and appears to be shrugging it off.
Four days after the first picture of the can appeared on Twitter, the company on Saturday clarified that the can was not on sale but part of an activation.
The company has a "filter system" to prevent profanities from being printed.
"We are still investigating how this one incident was not captured by the filter system," says Coca-Cola Southern Africa spokesperson, Camilla Osborne.
The naming activations will continue this month, but from this week, consumers will have to show their IDs as proof of their names, says Osborne. "This is to ensure preventing further profanity appearing on our products."
Hi @CocaCola_ZA , do you even know the meaning of this or you just approve stuff for the sake of doing it without being cognisant of the fact that this is really uncalled for?This is disrespectful and we demand an explanation as #Vatsonga or else you will suffer the consequences. pic.twitter.com/ZQMdomlQzY— Innocent Manyike ™ (@ManyikeInno) January 31, 2019
But akere people go to Cocacola and say my name is Mmatona share a Coke with me. If someone says my name is Xitombo then CocaCola must say sorry we can’t share a coke with you?— Mmatona Ntuane (@mmatona_ntuane) February 2, 2019
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