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Ithala helps businesses grow

Written by Thandeka Ngobese
More than five businesses in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) walked away with R50 000 in prize money and an additional R5 000 to contribute towards a charity of their choice at the Ithala Business Achiever Awards held in Durban recently.

The Ithala Business Achiever Awards recognise Ithala clients’ business success and acknowledges their contribution towards developing an entrepreneurial province.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Ithala Acting Business Finance Executive Mano Muthusamy said over the past years, more than 500 enterprises have been assisted by Ithala.

“Given the growing inequalities in employment, income and education, Ithala believes SMMEs can be influential in making a profound impact on the country’s economy by creating jobs.

“As part of Ithala’s developmental mandate, the agency makes funding available to enterprises that are viable, sustainable and have the potential to stimulate economic growth and job creation,” he said.

Ithala Acting Business Finance Executive Mano Muthusamy with some of the winners at the Ithala Awards.He said Ithala has a number of SMME development initiatives.

“We have the Siyasebenza development initiative, which comprises a series of developmental outreach programmes to uplift youth, women and SMMEs in townships and rural areas. We also have the Inkunz’isematholeni Youth in Business programme, which was launched in 2014 to encourage South Africa’s youth to consider self-employment as a job option. The programme is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and providing skills development among the youth.

“Ithala’s Business Achiever Awards aim to celebrate our clients’ successes by rewarding, showcasing and sharing their accomplishments with other aspirant business owners to inspire them towards growth and success,” said Muthusamy.

The Business Achiever nominees were evaluated based on their entrepreneurial spirit, financial performance, strategic direction, community impact, innovation and personal integrity. Awardees were celebrated across various industry sectors including agriculture, logistics, trade and services and commercial property as well as a special award category for excellence.

Ithala 2016 winners

Agriculture Business of the Year

Bagging the Agriculture Business of the Year award was Lucky Khumalo of Mgodeni Farm, a family-owned business in Dannhauser, Newcastle, which farms over 1 000 hectares of maize, 180 cattle and over 80 pigs. Khumalo said his farm supplies local farmers with cattle and also sells to the market. He has 15 permanent employees and hires more than 30 casuals during planting and harvesting.

Trade and Service Business of the Year

Ntobethuthu Trading was named Trade and Service Business of the Year. Peggy Ndhlovu is the owner of a flourishing BP service station in Umlazi V section. She has 12 permanent employees. 

Logistics Business of the Year

The Logistics Business of the Year award went to Eric Sokhulu of Asphiwamandla Trading Enterprise, a logistics service provider operating in Mtubatuba and Jozini, which specialises in sugar cane, coal and timber haulage.

Commercial Property Business

Sastri Ramiah, CEO of Olive Group, which provides an array of services including conferencing and events, accounting services, property and food and beverages scooped the Commercial Property Business of the Year award.

Special category for excellence

The special category award for excellence was presented to husband and wife team Mike and Thina Maziya. They own Super Mama Plastics and Verigreen, which specialises in disposable plastic manufacturing and commercial property.

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