Coca-Cola Units, Sasol, Sever Ties With McKinsey in South Africa

Coca-Cola Co.’s South African units and oil and gas company Sasol Ltd. aren’t awarding new business to McKinsey & Co. pending the outcome of corruption probes into the U.S. consultancy’s work involving the politically connected Gupta family.

The U.S. soft drinks giant and its South African bottling operation have awarded contracts to McKinsey in the past but have no historic work ongoing, a spokesman said in emailed comments on Thursday. Sasol, the world’s largest maker of fuel from coal, has two long-term projects with the consultancy but isn’t awarding new business for now, a spokeswoman said.

McKinsey said in October it had made “several errors of judgment” while working with South African state power provider Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. and pledged to review its practices in the country. The company is accused of wrongdoing related to work with Eskom and Trillian Capital Partners, which is linked to the Guptas. The family is subject of allegations they are using their friendship with President Jacob Zuma to win lucrative contracts from state companies, which they and Zuma deny.

Sasol and the Coca-Cola unit’s decision was first reported by the London-based Financial Times. A spokesman for McKinsey didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

A South African parliamentary inquiry into contracts awarded by Eskom is underway, while a probe by the state’s Special Investigating Unit has yet to start.

McKinsey is advising Sasol on the digitalization of its chemicals business and on how to improve performance at the mining division, spokeswoman Matebello Motloung said in emailed comments.

Bloomberg | Thursday, 11 January, 2018