Entrepreneurs in running for achiever awards
ZULULAND OBSERVER / 22 MARCH 2018 - 14.03 / LARRY BENTLEY
Zululanders look to win big in annual business awards
FIFTEEN Ithala Development Finance Corporation clients from various sectors – including agriculture, franchise, medical, tourism and the logistical services sector – will compete for the coveted title of ‘Business Achiever of the Year’.
Mhlonipheni Zulu of Siyawisa Hlathi timber harvesting company
Among the finalists are locals Mhlonipheni Zulu of Siyawisa Hlathi, a timber harvesting and loading company which supplies Mondi in Richards Bay, and Thamsanqa Ngcobo of Mlalazi Trading, a transport company operating in eShowe and Gingindlovu.
Zulu says he has been operating his harvesting business for 11 years.
‘It has been a long, difficult journey. When I started out I had very limited financial resources and the strain of the business began to take a toll on my health.
‘There was a point when I was wheelchair bound and I took a leap of faith and decided to apply for finance at Ithala so that I could buy two tractors.
‘My application was successful and I now have tractors which has made things so much easier,’ says Zulu.
Taxis to buses
Bus owner Ngcobo has been in business for seven years.
He started in the taxi industry and when the government implemented transformation policies in various sectors of the economy, he acquired shares in a local bus company.
The first buses were leased until his application for funding at Ithala was successful and he was able to purchase nine buses of his own.
‘I would still like to improve our facilities further and buy more equipment and want to thank Ithala for always ensuring that my business is cared for.
‘I had nothing, but now the business continues to grow,’ said Ngcobo.
The 2018 Business Achiever Awards will be held on 28 March at Coastlands on the Ridge in Musgrave, Durban.
The ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ will bag a R100 000 cash prize, plus an additional R10 000 to donate to a charity of his or her choice.
Category award winners will each receive R30 000 and ‘Special Awards’ recipients will each receive R10 000.
The initiative complements government’s efforts to address the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment and achieve the goals set out in the National Development Plan through the implementation of radical socio-economic transformation.
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