A blossoming Crescent

2019-04-30 06:01
Mohamed ‘Joe Hilite’ Mohamed displaying one of his unique products.PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

Mohamed ‘Joe Hilite’ Mohamed displaying one of his unique products.PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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Knowing the struggle of starting a business from scratch, Mohamed ‘Joe Hilite’ Mohamed, one of the long-standing business owners at Hadji Ebrahim Crescent in Belgravia has decided to give back to the community.

The crescent has a rich history in the business industry as it was reportedly used as a farm, which over the years, evolved to become a home to a variety of businesses, ranging from manufacturers, wholesalers, garage to plumbing and panel beaters, having opened employment opportunities for many people. To mention few, they include Trends Homeware, Spring Rolls, Nasri’s Auto Electric, Plush Tissues and Sawants.

Local councillor, Magadien Davids describes it as a blossoming industrial circle that has become the heart of the community. Though it sounds like it is named after a particular person, Davids says the name was brainstormed by the locals who were not comfortable with Kakjaatie that was used back in the day and wanted to come up with a decent one.

Like many industrial areas in the city, the crescent is close to an informal settlement with dwellers reportedly benefiting from the fruits as opportunities from within the businesses, which are not limited to anyone. Mohamed says everyone in the area has their own way of doing things to contribute towards the community they serve and as his New Year’s resolution was to empower aspiring business owners from all corners of Cape Town, the crescent is reportedly becoming more popular. Mohamed gives stock to willing individuals to sell at their own prices and in return allow them to take back 40% of each sold item.

Mohamed says this allows participants to earn income and reduce poverty. The business opportunity is open to anyone wanting to earn an income, whether they are unemployed or looking at making extra cash.

The idea has attracted about 655 individuals thus far. He teaches them how to make money off the little they have.

“I worked as a teacher earning R60 a month and I had to feed a family of 12. I taught myself to work hard and make the most of it.”

He says it was never easy for him but he had to look at the bigger picture.

Mohamed has taken a look back at his life since he started his business 50 years ago as a hawker on Klipfontein Road in Athlone before getting a spot at the crescent, which was then a busy business spot in Cape Town. He grew the business over the years and is now one of the major owners, running Hilite Wholesale Warehouse. He has a total of 40 employees working at his stores.

Another thriving store, Springroll Delicacies which is a family owned business has been in the area for 14 years. It is a manufacturer of fine frozen snacks and it aspires to make shopping convenient and produce good quality items at affordable prices. Even the newcomers in the area are happy, saying there is a sense of security, with businessmen looking out for each other and thriving to plough back to their customers.

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