Diepsloot can be best discribed as a "Construction Site" in the words of former City of Johannesburg Mayor, Cllr. Mpho Parks Tau. His discription of our township in thie manner was informed by the infrastructure roll-out the government has invested in Diepsloot from the three government spheres. It remains the fastest growing, and most improved township post 1994 democratic dispensation.
The above statement talks to the government investment in infrastructral projects, but business requires all sectors of society to be inolved in the economic life of the township in order to improve the living conditions of all the residents. Our aim is to showcase and profile businesses in Diepsloot, to unlock their economic potential thus improving the earning therefore the living conditions of all its residents.
As Asad Alam from the World Bank said that “There is no shortage of ideas about what needs to be done to improve the economy of townships, the challenge is to incentivize and mobilize local communities to urgently implement appropriate solutions”. Ours is to activate communities to not only participate, but equally understand the economic circle of their locality.
It's only been 30 months since Urban Grow was founded by three Gauteng entrepreneurs, but the business has already attracted huge clients and is growing in leaps and bounds.
Farming is not the most attractive business for young people and many won’t even entertain the thought of a career in agriculture. Three young commercial farmers, whose business is yielding great results, want to change the way young people think of agriculture as a career and as a business sector.
Launched two-and-a-half years ago, Urban Grown was established by three young entrepreneurs Simba Chimhandamba, his wife Nonhlanhla and Naledi Mokoena with the aim of selling great produce at reasonable prices. Chimhandamba said the decision to go into commercial farming was inspired by his wife, who fell in love with agriculture when she was exposed to the value chain at Nestlé Nutrition. While none of the founding trio had any experience of agriculture and food processing, Chimhandamba said what encouraged them to go into the field was the unique skill-sets they had gained over the years, working in different sectors.
The Chimhandambas both have a wealth of experience in marketing and have worked for big corporates. Mokoena has five years’ experience in the hotel sector, including working for the Marriott hotel chain in London and Tsogo Sun locally. “We realised that we have somebody who can pioneer client relations with the hotels, retailers and restaurants and others to take our produce to market,” he says.
As it is for many other budding entrepreneurs, lack of funding was a challenge, but they worked around that and instead of purchasing land, decided to rent a plot in Diepsloot, Johannesburg. One of the key things they looked at when they were setting up the business was a prime location, where they could cut down on travel costs and ensure that they were close to the consumer. “We grow, process and supply the best quality fresh produce to the best hotels, airlines and retailers. We grow our produce naturally and also using hydroponics, which truly is sustainable farming in the city. While we save water and reduce our carbon footprint, our food is consumed where it’s farmed in the city,” he says.
In just a couple of years, Urban Grow has managed to clinch deals with Food Lover’s Market, British Airways and the City Lodge Hotel Group. “It took us three months to land the Food Lover’s Market deal, persistently calling and trying to set up a meeting. Then finally, when we met them, we had 15 minutes to pitch our story, which tied in very much with the brand tenets – sustainable farming and environmentally-friendly practices,” Chimhandamba says.
This later led to other companies, such as City Lodge and Comair, approaching Urban Grow for enterprise development.
“Our quality and level of service is what has led to us securing and retaining clients and consumers. This is always a work in progress, as consumer needs and trends change. We are launching new packaging for convenience and longer-lasting freshness,” he says. Urban Grow is in talks with Massmart on a deal that could see its produce sold at Cambridge Foods and Makro.
While the company has only been in business for a short period, there have been some key learnings, such as not allowing a lack of funding to stop business development and building a solid base before expanding. According to Chimhandamba, Urban Grow is about more than profits. The founders of Urban Grow aim to inspire young people to go into agriculture and understand the benefits of running such a business.
The company now employs nine people and expects a R1,6 million profit in 2017. Taken from www.destinyman.co.za
The Forum is an independent, non-political organization dedicated to promoting and protecting the interest of business. Forum members will have the access to our wide range of information resources developed over many years of serving the business community.
As the first and the largest business forum in Diepsloot, the Forum represents business interests through on-going interaction with the regional and metropolitan government, aimed at creating an economic environment conducive to growth and prosperity.
When you join the Forum, you also become part of the business incubation hub based on the agreed admission criteria to the hub and also SACCI. Forum membership is not only to be associated to it but it is about using your membership to grow your business. It aims to provide a comprehensive range of added value business support and development services to assist the growth of SMME’s.
As such, DSMMEF is planning for the improvement of the business environment and opportunities for its member business through;
• Policy proposals on legislative matters enabling the business environment.
• Establish a business linkage programme facilitating co-operation and business opportunities between corporate and SMME’s
• Arrange trade affairs of relevance.
• Establish an enterprise development programme
• Improving training services of constituent members.
• Facilitate network sessions for businesses
Individuals representing different business formations/interest groups also participate in the Diepsloot SMME Forum Plenary meetings that are held on a monthly basis.
The overriding aim of the Diepsloot SMME business Forum is to meet Province and City’s Growth and Development Strategy (GDS) outcomes to stimulate the economy by focusing on creating sustainable SMME’s that will be incubated into large scale businesses, truly creating a sustainable development for South Africa.
The Diepsloot SMME business forum will: Act as a consultative forum that effectively addresses the needs and challenges of the Diepsloot SMME’s into the Incubation hub and business environment in the surrounding areas.
COMPOSITION OF THE DIEPSLOOT SMME FORUM
The DSMMEF shall be made up of representatives of the business forums from the community of Diepsloot, the private sector, the Non-profit sector as well as other affected stakeholders and citizen groups.
To join DSMMESF, kindly contact Mr. Makwela at 0798862087.
South Africa has been rocked by news that it has slipped into a recession after its gross domestic product (GDP) declined 0.7% during the first quarter of 2017 after contracting by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2016. Jannie Rossouw explains what it means.
What is a technical recession?
It’s when an economy suffers two consecutive quarters of negative economic performance. It refers to shrinking economic output, sometimes also known as negative economic growth or economic decline.
In short, it implies that the economic activity of a country is declining. This is never a good thing. In South Africa’s case it’s particularly serious because the country needs strong economic growth to make inroads into unemployment, which currently stands at more than 27%. South Africa desperately needs a strong economy for other reasons too. The first is that the living standards of its citizens can’t improve without economic growth. The second is that the economy needs to grow for the government to be able to increase revenue to meet its growing social welfare budget.
There are other ways to describe a recession, although the technical definition is one that’s generally accepted. Other definitions include “an economy performing below potential” or “an increase in the output gap”. As an aside, it’s interesting to note that there’s a technical definition for a recession, but no agreed definition for a depression (as in Great Depression of the 1930s). South Africa’s economy showed marginal positive growth for 2016, although it then contracted in the fourth quarter of the year. With similar contraction in the first quarter of 2017, the country entered a technical recession.
If the economy shows positive growth for the remaining three quarters of this year, South Africa will avert a recession for the calendar year 2017.
What caused it?
Economic activity contracted over a wide range of sectors, including construction, manufacturing and transport. Only mining and agriculture made a positive contribution to output growth. All other sectors contracted.
This reflects subdued demand throughout the South African economy. The data on the first quarter confirms what many small and medium business owners have been saying since the beginning of 2017 – that demand is down and that business conditions are tough.
The important question is whether this recession will continue in the second quarter – April to June, or whether there will be a turn around to economic growth.
Who’s to blame?
It’s difficult to say who is to blame. But it must be noted that recessions are rare events, as policies are generally aimed at economic growth. This is the second recession experienced in the post 1994 South Africa. Rapid economic growth depends on investment, which in turn is dependent on confidence and positive expectations of the country’s future. President Jacob Zuma’s administration doesn’t instil confidence. This partly explains subdued investment. The recent credit risk downgrades into sub-investment grade has made South Africa a less attractive investment destination. The lack of confidence is also reflected in suppressed demand, which in turn results in contractions in economic output.
How do we get out of it?
Investment is required to get South Africa out of its depressed economic conditions. Investment will boost demand in the economy, with positive spill-over effects into a number of sectors. Naturally restoring South Africa’s credit risk rating to investment grade would help boost investment. A better credit rating would reduce the risk of investing in the country. The upcoming credit rating decision from global credit rating agency Moodys’ is going to be a critical moment. This after two big rating agencies Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poors downgraded some of South Africa’s instruments into sub-investment grade. A downgrade from Moodys’ will trigger massive capital flights which will exert further pressure on the economy.
What company are we keeping? Are other countries in the same boat at the moment?
The ConversationSouth Africa is joining a growing list of countries which have slipped into technical recessions. These include Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea and Venezuela. It’s important to remember that a country’s status can change from quarter to quarter depending on its growth rate. This means that an assessment of economic growth or recession status needs to be made based on the most recent data.
Jannie Rossouw, Head of School of Economic & Business Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand. taken from www.citypress.co.za
" What is missing from Diepsloot, as in other large urban townships, is a viable middle ground: a dynamic middle-income economic structure on a large scale that hosts a range of robust businesses, both labor intensive and small enterprises, that are suited to absorbing the limited skill levels available among the townships’ unemployed masses "
World Bank Group lead economist and editor of the study.
Download a copy of the report here ...
Diarora Management Consulting provides quality professional development and business coaching services. The principal officer of Diarora Management Consulting believes that most small businesses and entrepreneurs suffer two major problems. They lack training or development resources and the depth of knowledge needed to focus on their businesses from a true "ownership" perspective. Both lead to lowered expectations, lack of business and personal growth and frequent owner burnout. Diarora Management Consulting believes that it can improve upon and exploit these weaknesses to gain local market share.
Tell us about your Personal or Business Developmental Goals and Let us Work with You to Achieve Them. Mothakge@diepsloot.com
Experience the magic of Diepsloot.
Diepsloot lovingly referred to as 'Sloot' is one of the most densely populated and poor areas in Johannesburg next to one of the richest suburbs of South Africa, Dainfern. You can visually see the contrast between the two.