Baking their way towards a brighter future

2019-06-26 06:02
photo:Andile sithole Nokulunga Ngcobo (left) and Dudu Sithole display their freshly baked products.

photo:Andile sithole Nokulunga Ngcobo (left) and Dudu Sithole display their freshly baked products.

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JOB losses and high unemployment figures are the main concerns affecting people living in informal settlements throughout South Africa. However, this has never stopped the founders of Siyavuya Bakery from dreaming big and working towards achieving their goals.

At the inception of their business in May the two founders, Dudu Sithole and Nokulunga Ngcobo, had a vision to sell bakery products to their community and feed their families. The two met to discuss a way forward, talking about starting a small business that will meet the needs of their community.

“Our primary aim was to generate income and feed our families. Early this year, we attended a three-day training course that covered various aspects of baking.

“We sell our products to Letcee and the rest to the community. Another member, Ntokozo Jacobs, also joined us.

“Our main aim is to see our business grow and reach out to other people outside of Greytown,” Sithole said, adding that bread costs R10.

The three ladies are breadwinners in their families. Sithole is originally from the Ntembisweni area near Greytown. She told the Gazette that with the little profit she earns at the bakery she is able to feed her whole family.

“My daughter is doing Grade 12 this year in Greytown. With the little income that I earn I am able to pay for school fees and other expenses. Our business is doing well, but I wish we could get more sponsors who could donate new baking equipment.

“One day this business should be able to supply bread to the supermarkets in Greytown and even outside the province of KwaZulu-Natal,” Sithole added.

Director at Letcee Mary James said: “Letcee is an Early Childhood Development organisation and its focus is on the well being of young children. We work to create a nurturing environment in which each child can develop and grow.

“We encourage parents and caregivers to become involved in income generation activities so that they are better able to provide and care for their children.

“In this instance, Letcee negotiated with the sponsors, Celebrate Life, to obtain nine micro bakeries which have been installed in six communities in Umvoti. Letcee, with community structures, identified the beneficiaries. Letcee arranged for the training. Letcee paid for the installation of the ovens. Letcee buys all the bread used at the Izingane Zethu centre from Siyavuya. We do the same in other communities where we feed children. The women also bake to sell to members of the community.

“We have initiated the nine micro bakeries, but only one in this informal settlement. The other projects are in the rural communities not informal settlements.

“Various other small businesses have emerged from the self-help groups (micro banking schemes) we have been instrumental in starting in all the communities in which we work.”

In his State of the Nation Address on June 20, President Cyril Ramaphosa said SA was confronted by severe challenges.

“Our economy is not growing. Not enough jobs are being created. This is the concern that rises above all others. It affects everyone. It affects you, the young man eMzimhlophe, out of school five years now and still not employed.

It’s impacts you, the single mother from Delft, whose grant supports not just yourself but your grandchildren too. It’s hurts you, the worker in Nelson Mandela Bay, who despite earning a salary is struggling to make ends meet.”

“We have heard you and many others. Through the elections held in May, you provided all of us with a clear mandate for growth and renewal,” he stated.

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