Available at GCIS provincial offices, GCIS district offices & Thusong centres in your area!

Free State’s black chemical industrialists create jobs

Written by More Matshediso
The Black Industrialists Scheme helped Kevali Chemicals buy machinery and equipment to get the business off the ground.

A local chemical manufacturing company is helping to fight unemployment by creating about 70 sustainable jobs in Harrismith in the Free State.

Kevali Chemicals is the first Free State black owned chemicals manufacturer of a range of water treatment chemicals, hygiene and sanitation solutions as well as adhesives.

The company was founded in 2014 by five friends who have expertise in chemicals, fast-moving consumer goods, product development, and adhesives industries.

Kevali Chemicals Executive Director Funeka Khumalo says the Black Industrialist Scheme supported her company to acquire machinery and equipment to start the manufacturing and production line for water treatment, cleaning and disinfecting as well as adhesives.

 “In the beginning we had to inject money to get the business off the ground but ultimately we received funding from the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) through the Black Industrialists Scheme (BIS) as well as the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC),” she added.

The Black Industrialists Scheme helped Kevali Chemicals  acquire machinery and equipment to commence the new manufacturing and production line for water treatment, cleaning and disinfecting as well as adhesives.

The Scheme is a grant programme of the Black Industrialists Policy that aims to unlock the potential within black industrialists within the South African economy through deliberate, targeted and well-defined financial and non-financial interventions.

Khumalo said it took about R18 million to get the business off the ground and about 11 months to start making a profit.

The company distributes its products across South Africa as well as in Uganda, Namibia, and Tanzania.

Khumalo said the impact that the company has on the lives of local residents is bigger than job creation.

“Over and above creating jobs for local residents, we have a social investment programme through which we assist small business set up by women in township and rural areas that specialise in the manufacturing of domestic hygiene and sanitation products,” she said.

She said young entrepreneurs should know that starting a business is never easy but they should not lose heart as they will later enjoy the rewards.

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Bulelani Magwanishe said Kevali has the honour of being the first company specialising in the chemicals, pharmaceuticals and plastics sector to have ever been approved since the establishment of the Black Industrialists Programme in 2016.

“The company will provide much needed job opportunities to the surrounding communities of Harrismith which are gripped by high levels of unemployment,”  Deputy Minister Magwanishe said.