Business takes off after assistance

2018-12-12 06:01
De Beers representative Mercy Kaotsane with owners, Gasan Williams and Valerie Williams. Photo: Supplied

De Beers representative Mercy Kaotsane with owners, Gasan Williams and Valerie Williams. Photo: Supplied

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Considered to be one of the most difficult business spheres to infiltrate, the trailer spare parts sector is one that Gasan Williams had always dreamt to be part of. When the opportunity presented itself, he did not look back.

Not long after the ceasing of a contract at his previous employment, he decided to return to Kimberley to venture into business.

“With my experience in the heavy-duty logistics industry, I saw a need for trailer spares. It was one of the biggest gaps that we had identified, and when we started, we had not realised that this was an industry mostly controlled by the white monopoly, which obviously posed a challenged for us as a black business,” said Williams.

However, since its inception in January this year, Setjhaba Trailers has expanded considerably and has gained continuous success due to its reputation among its customer base.

With a full range of up to 20 000 quality trailer spare parts and accessories fit for local business and large-scale transportation, the company is committed to providing its customers with reliable service and quality parts.

With the help of De Beers, Setjhaba Trailers now employs six skilled staff members – three of which are mechanics, one an administrator and two sales assistants.

The business offers com­petitive pricing and caters to individual customers, as well as government institutions and other privately-owned companies.

Setjhaba Trailers was given a boost to improve its services through the Zimele Community Fund from De Beers Kimberley Hub financing.

It qualified for the loan worth R349 293 and purchased stock which include trailer spare parts, accessories and other automotive components.

“De Beers has truly allowed us freedom with confidence to be able to supply our customers with whatever part at any cost. They have really given us the motivation to want to branch out in the future to other areas across the province,” said Williams.

Like many businesses in the entrepreneurial environment, Setjhaba Trailers admits to have had its fair share of hiccups along the way – most of which were financial.

“Before this loan, we were faced with a continuous struggle of not being able to pay our employees their salaries on time due to cashflow problems. We had to endure slow payments from our customers, which impacted us negatively,” said co-owner, Valerie Williams.

“But now, we are a distributor of many leading brand names of trailer parts. Our employees receive their salaries promptly, and our store is fully stocked, which makes us more competitive and we are committed to investing in staff development.

“Currently, one of our employees wants to go and study further, so we are in the process of getting a replacement for them,” she said.

However, for Gasan and Valerie as the owners, the loan has not only enabled them to open the doors of Setjhaba Trailers, but it has also ensured that they reap the rewards of their industry.

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