Over fifty youth-owned small enterprises in KwaZulu-Natal have been given a shot in the arm. They’ve received a cash injection of over R77 million to grow their businesses.

24 year-old Thabiso Nxumalo hails from Imbali township in Pietermaritzburg. Nxumalo started a steel manufacturing enterprise in 2016.

He makes steel roof trusses and doors and his main clients are contractors who build RDP houses.

Nxumalo says initially he had to raise R600 000 to buy equipment and his business now employs 8 young people.

He’s one of the beneficiaries of the provincial government youth fund.

“I can go into the market and say I can charge this amount because I know I control all the other value chains of my product. Now I will be controlling all the components of the business then I will be able to be competitive and thrive.”

These sentiments are also shared by other beneficiaries.

“We will be able to employ more youth since we needed to expand the business because we already have a business; we want to give the youth in Ezakheni a chance,” says another business grant recipient, Philisiwe Mdunge.

The businesses were chosen because of their potential to boost the economy and create jobs.

“The youth businesses we are funding are those who want specific equipment or support that will make them work. We are not going to be giving money direct but we will be giving them equipment that they want so that they engage in business,” says KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala.

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