Senwes Scenario Desember 2015 / Januarie 2016 - Page 16

••• NUUS milling plant. After initially struggling to obtain financing, he eventually obtained it and decided upon the operation in Ventersburg, called Ventersburg Boeremeule. He set up Lethabo Milling with a loan from Absa and he used the plant to produce about 10 000 tons of maize per annum for Massmart selling his maize at Makro, Cash & Carry and Cambridge. He even passed the food safety audit at the very first attempt this year on 27 August. His successes made headlines in numerous publications and he even visited parliament earlier this year. ANOTHER FIRST Another first for Xolani is that 53% of his staff are women - a first in the industry. What’s more, all his employees are local people. The 50-year-old Xolani also invests in his staff and some are in the process of becoming qualified millers. He also does motivational talks at organisations and schools. This included a visit with the graduates of Senwes recently. In addition he has identified four black millers and offers them help and advice along the way. LETHABO MILLING LOGO His face lights up as I ask about the logo of Lethabo Milling. He starts by saying “It means happiness or joy”. The logo is a maize cob with the leaves opening up to the sun shining over it. The red in the logo represents the blood of Jesus. “I asked God to lead and guide me. I prayed for it.” CHRISTMAS MESSAGE “Christmas is a peaceful and joyous (lethabo) time. Let’s not indulge in negative substances. Let’s walk and drive safely.” MESSAGE FROM THE GRADUATES UPON MEETING XOLANI NDZABA: “The meeting with Xolani and Eddie was quite interesting in the sense that we learned a lot about the challenges which entrepreneurs in South Africa face and the way to overcome the obstacles that might discourage you on the road to success. We found his AKA (Attitude, Knowledge and Ability) motto very inspiring and he is living proof that a positive attitude will get you far in life. We also learned more about possible sustainability programmes that businesses must have in terms of skills transfer and mentorship.” Xolani stated that his success is as a result of the skills and knowledge that he managed to acquire over the years through different jobs that he took and business exposure. He is passionate about mentoring and giving young people an opportunity to develop relevant skills in his business. PURE WHITE GOODNESS Xolani is very confident about his maize meal as it compares very well with competitive products. “Once people taste our maize meal, they don’t want to eat any other maize.” FAMILY MAN Xolani’s family lives in Roodepoort. He has been married to his wife Thembi for 8 years but has known her for two decades. They have two children, Mpilo (10) and Nonkululeko (7). 14 Visit to Senwes! At the back are Henno Bakker (Web Developer), Eddie Morris (Xolani’s business partner) with Xolani Ndzaba (Founder/CEO of Lethabo Milling). In front are Ikageng Mokhuane (Graduate), Lerato Sekgobela (Civil Technician) and Boipelo Leeuw (Graduate). Desember 2015/Januarie 2016 • SENWES Scenario