Nov 2018 1st Edition

Fast food king received a sizzling start from ECDC

Written by Siya Miti

An Eastern Cape government funding agency enabled a youngster to embrace his passion for entrepreneurship.

The Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) has beeninstrumental in helping an entrepreneur tuck into the fast food industry with gusto.Sicelo Mntonga the franchise king creating jobs in the Eastern Cape.

The R12 million in financing that Mthatha-based entrepreneur Sicelo Mntonga received from the provincial economic development agency has enabled him open a number of Famous Brands restaurants over the past 13 years.

He currently operates several Debonairs Pizza, Wimpy, Steers and Mugg & Bean franchises.

Of the eight Debonairs Pizza restaurants he operates, five are in Mthatha, one in Dutywa, one is in Butterworth and one in Kokstad. Mntonga is partnered with long-time friend Onke Mankahla in three of the Mthatha franchises.

Mntonga and Mankahla’s journey with the ECDC started in 2009 when they sought financing to buy two existing Debonairs outlets in Mthatha. The ECDC financed R2.2-million of the R2.8 million needed.

Today, Mntonga employs over 350 people which, given his passion for education and personal development, is highly satisfying for him. Nothing pleases him more than seeing people grow, especially when they have had to overcome the challenge of poverty.

“There are a number of people who only had a Grade 12 education when employed. Through our assistance, they have managed to further their studies and they now have tertiary qualifications either in the hospitality industry or other fields. That makes us happy,” he said.

Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Mntonga worked as an accountant. He completed his articles at Deloitte in KwaZulu-Natal.

ECDC head of development finance and business support Tandeka Rozani said the support given to Mntonga is in line with its commitment to extend its reach to deserving entrepreneurs in all corners of the province.

“This is particularly true for those entrepreneurs based in underserved and largely rural areas. Loan funding helps businesses in these areas to grow, stimulates local economic activity and facilitates job creation,” said Rozani. 

In the 2016/17 financial year, the ECDC disbursed R168 million to 263 enterprises, benefitting 118 youth-owned businesses.

If you are interested in receiving assistance from the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), you can visit one of their offices.

Head office


Ocean Terrace Park, Moore Street, Quigney, East London

PO Box 11197, Southernwood, East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa, 5213

Telephone: +27(0)43 704 5600 ï Facsimile: +27(0)43 704 5700


24 High Street Butterworth

PO Box 117, Butterworth, Eastern Cape, South Africa, 4960

Telephone: +27(0)47 401 2700. Facsimile: +27(0)47 491 0443

King Williamís Town

75 Alexander Road,
King William's Town

PO Box 498, King Williams Town, Eastern Cape, South Africa, 5600

Telephone: +27(0)43 604 8800 ï Facsimile: +27(0)43 642 4199

Port Elizabeth

68 Cape Road,
Mill Park, Port Elizabeth

PO Box 1331, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa, 6000


+27(0)41 373 8260 ï Facsimile: +27(0)41 374 4447


22 Cathcart Street,Queenstown

Private Bag X7180, Queenstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa, 5320

Telephone: +27(0)45 838 1910 ï Facsimile: +27(0)45 838 2176


7 Sissons Street,
Fort Gale, Mthatha

Private Bag X5028, Mthatha, Eastern Cape, South Africa, 5099

Telephone: +27(0)47 501 2200 ï Facsimile: +27(0)47 532 3548

For general information, please contact an ECDC branch nearest you or email us on

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