March 2022.

A youth owned co-op in Hertzogville, has been set up to produce and process frozen potato chips for retail and will kick-off production this month, follow protracted delays, which have been exacerbated by the CV-19 pandemic.

Owned by six local community members, the co-op was set up in 2019, and received business training and skills development, but when the pandemic hit, they needed to put their plans on hold. Now, after more than two years of waiting, their perseverance has paid off as they have new premises secured, a business container, and all the necessary manufacturing equipment, to run a sustainable business, thanks to development funding and business skills training.

“We first stepped in to help this fledging SMME in 2019 with business training, mentoring and working capital, with our most latest support being focused on helping them secure adequate premises, a container structure, setup on land that is leased to the co-op by the local Municipality, as well as the necessary equipment” said Zuki Ndlela, Economic Development Specialist for Boshof Solar Power.

The benefits of the SMME spread beyond the six owners, as they source their potatoes from a local farmer, which means that their success and growth will be compounded through the community.

“By helping to build micro youth-owned start-ups into sustainable SMMES, the developmental impact is multiplied, as it creates local jobs and develops a local supply chain, which in this instance will benefit the economy of the Tokologo Local Municipality,” added Ndlela.

The start-up was directly affected by CV-19, which delayed the arrival of the container, amongst other equipment. The result is that the business is now expected to be fully operational by end-March. The delays, did not however stop the entrepreneurs from their plans, as they continued to work on creating a network of customers, including small retailers and even larger outlets.

The Boshof Solar Power’s enterprise development programme looks to empower small enterprises, within the Tokologo Municipality’s communities of Boshof and Hertzogville. Rural micro enterprises in a range of industries, including agriculture benefit from this developmental programme, which looks to grow sustainable entities.

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