A Limpopo lawyer has entered the custom-made furniture business to heed government’s call for local production and buy local to create employment and maintain livelihoods after the COVID-19 lockdown.
Hlamarisa Ndaba (33) was among many who suffered during lockdown as her law firm could not provide an income. As a result, she used her savings to start her own furniture-manufacturing business, Precision Interiors, in Gauteng.
In September 2020, Ndaba started selling beds on the streets in various townships. Her business flourished after she began manufacturing custom furniture. Her range now includes beds, custom-made headboards, couches, tables and chairs.
She uses social media for advertising and recently launched a website with an e-commerce facility. E-commerce is the buying and selling of goods and services on the internet.
"With almost two years in business, Precision Interiors has created permanent employment for 17 people and has two shops in Johannesburg and Polokwane," she says.
The manufacturing sector has been identified as key to respond to the surge of unemployment. Ndaba says her business has the potential to create even more employment as orders increase.
“Small businesses, particularly manufacturing, are the backbone of our economy… Small businesses are literally foot soldiers in eradicating poverty and creating employment,” she says.
At the Proudly SA Buy Local Summit and Expo held in March, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the pandemic exposed the fragility of global supply chains and revealed the great capacity South Africa has for manufacturing.
He emphasised that local production is important as it encourages national pride in the goods, services and products made on home soil.
“In the State of the Nation Address in February, I made a point of mentioning that my suit and shoes were made by local producers. I did so to draw attention to the quality of local goods and to the capability of local manufacturers, but also to encourage all South Africans to support the Proudly SA campaign. It supports the growth of small businesses and the expansion of larger firms. It creates employment and sustains livelihoods,” the President said.
Ndaba attested to the President’s sentiments.
“I wanted to take a risk with my savings to prove that it is a viable business and now I have something to show that will help to get funding to grow the business,” she says.
To view and order Ndaba’s furniture, visit https://precision-interiors.co.za/