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ITHALA CELEBRATES TOP BUSINESS ACHIEVERS

Published: Friday, March 31, 2017

Community AffairsAgriculture Community DevelopmentEconomyLogisticsManufacturing TransportMining

The annual Business Achiever Awards hosted by Ithala Development Finance Corporation recognises and celebrates business achievements and excellence at a time when economic inclusivity is high on government’s development agenda.

    In recognition of their contribution towards developing KwaZulu-Natal as an entrepreneurial province, several enterprising business leaders were feted at an awards ceremony in Durban on 29 March 2017.

    The annual Business Achiever Awards hosted by Ithala Development Finance Corporation recognises and celebrates business achievements and excellence at a time when economic inclusivity is high on government’s development agenda.

    The Business Achiever nominees were evaluated against numerous criteria –entrepreneurial spirit, financial performance, strategic direction, community impact, innovation and personal integrity.

    Awardees were celebrated across various industry sectors including hospitality, manufacturing, agriculture and transport and logistics.

    Ithala, KZN’s provincial development agency, is a State Owned Entity that falls under the KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs under the leadership of MEC Sihle Zikalala.

    “As a development finance institution, we take seriously our role to help government accelerate radical transformation to alleviate the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality through programmes that promote economic inclusion,” said Yvonne Zwane, Ithala Group Chief Executive.

    “Fostering greater entrepreneurial activity in the country will be key to tackling unemployment issues and stimulating job creation. Hence, early exposure to entrepreneurship as a viable career option at schools will create greater interest in self-employment and enable a progressive nation.”

    Ithala is mandated to deliver development and empowerment solutions and encourage participation in all sectors of the economy, including and especially, the historically disadvantaged members of society through employment creation, skills transfer and training.

    “In your enterprise development journey, you will not be left alone to fend for yourself after a successful loan application. While strict business requirements for lending will always apply, we are a lender with a heart. We will stand by you and help develop your business to ensure it remains relevant, profitable and sustainable,” added Zwane.

    Over the past five years, 12 425 jobs have been created through lending activities, 873 enterprises have been assisted and loans totalling R1, 45 billion have been advanced.

    Sandile Ntuli, managing director of Black Carrot Trading, which specialises in providing logistical services to the coal mining sector in Ulundi and Newcastle as well as long haulage services nationally and Mozambique, bagged the coveted “Entrepreneur of the Year” award of R50 000 cash prize and an additional R10 000 to donate to a charity of his choice.

    Four category award winners each received R30 000:

    1. Themba Ndlovu: Owner of Cubana restaurant in Pietermaritzburg - “Franchise Business of the Year”

    2. Thokozane Masikane: Owner of Tiba T Trading in Pietermaritzburg – “Micro-Business of the Year”

    3. Pepeta Loyisa: Owner of Copperfield Dairy farm in the Cedarville area – “Agriculture Business of the Year”

    4. Sandile Ntuli: Managing Director of Black Carrot Trading with its head office in Pinetown – “Logistical Service Business of the Year”

    Three “Special Awards” recipients each received R10 000:

    1. Bonginkosi Ngcobo, who established his sugar cane farm, Snembe Farm, in Tongaat during 1975 and who this year celebrates 20 years as a client of Ithala: Lifetime Achievement Award

    2. Nokuthula Dladla, Megaphase Road Marking and Traffic Signs: Operational Excellence in the Manufacturing Sector

    3. Thamsanqa Ngcobo, Mlalazi Co-operative: Operational Excellence by a Co-operative Business

     

    Ithala’s catalytic role in nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit of SMME’s and co-operatives and promoting enterprise development was well-known long before other institutions even coined the phrase.