Coca-Cola and SABMiller have reached an agreement with the Government of South Africa to help process the merger of their bottling assets.

In 2014, Coca-Cola, SABMiller, and Gutsche Family Investments had agreed to merge their bottling operations, reported the Wall Street Journal.

However, the government raised concerns over job losses resulting from the merger.

“I am very happy that we have reached this agreement and hope we now have a clear path to the conclusion of this transaction.”

Now, the firms have assured the government that the merged operations will retain the total number of permanent employees at the present level for three years once the deal gets approval.

South Africa Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel said: "Employment creation and development of small businesses are a vital part of building a more inclusive economy.

"The commitments made by the merger parties will open access to cooler space in smaller spaza shops and retail outlets to competing brands.

"Employment levels will be protected for three years. The R800 million commitment builds on a number of similar commitments made recently which, taken together, will be a major boost for small-holder farming."

In addition, the firms agreed to invest R800m ($53.8m) in enterprise development.

They will create a R400m ($26.9m) fund for enterprise development in the agriculture value chain with an aim to support farmers and suppliers operating at small scale level.

SABMiller CEO Alan Clark said: "I am very happy that we have reached this agreement and hope we now have a clear path to the conclusion of this transaction and the creation of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa.

"As the location of CCBA’s headquarters, South Africa will be the heart of this business and our belief is that our commitments will provide a strong footing from which the business will flourish in South Africa and across the continent."

The Coca-Cola Company president and COO James Quincey said: "Today’s announcement ensures that the creation of Coca-Cola’s largest bottling partner in Africa will strengthen our business while also closely aligning with the South African Government’s national imperatives for social and economic development.

"Coca-Cola has been firmly committed to our business in Africa and supporting local communities since we first began operations in South Africa almost 90 years ago, and this agreement marks the latest important step in that journey."