In a bold move, a group of young black professionals launched Ikamva Investment Holdings, a company that seeks to create employment and business opportunities for budding township business owners and Khayelitsha residents.
The company, the brainchild of 54 professionals from around Khayelitsha, hopes to uplift small and medium businesses in the area and the surrounding communities.
At the launch at the Look Out Hill, in Khayelitsha, on Saturday October 1, the founders took the opportunity to honour founder of Silulo Ulutho Technologies, Luvuyo Rani.
Mr Rani is a symbol of hope to many people in Khayelitsha and other communities. He started his now successful business venture in the boot of his car after resigning as a teacher from KwaMfundo High School. Today he runs a successful business with branches all over the province and some parts of the Eastern Cape.
Ikamva communications director Andiswa Dlokolo said the company aimed to be a catalyst for investment for young and aspiring business people, while creating job opportunities.
She said they believe that the best way to grow any businesses is to allow local people to have the buying power.
Ms Dlokolo said it was fitting to officially launch the business by honouring Mr Rani who has done a sterling job in advising and encouraging budding business owners in Khayelitsha to not give up.
She said they have divided themselves up into groups depending on members expertise and they will conduct research in various industries.
“We have opted to contribute R1 000 on a monthly basis for at least a minimum of three years in order to generate the start-up capital when we decide to venture into any busineses. We started with our monthly contributions about five months ago. We have people who are qualified as lawyers, accountants, public relations, marketing, agriculture, and entrepreneurships,” she said.
Ms Dlokolo said this, however, does not mean they will do business after they have collected these contributions but it means the business would be self-sustainable even if there are no projects within the first three years.
Chief executive officer (CEO) of Ikamva Investment Holdings, Luvuyo Jongile, said they intend creating partnerships with other role players in the mainstream economy of the province with the aim of reinforcing the township economy while combating inequality.
He said people are so reliant on the government that they even think that government legislates morality. Mr Jongile said as Ikamva they believe the real engine of sustainable and equitable growth in this country is through regeneration of the township economy.
“In the last 10 years we have witnessed a massive population growth in Khayelitsha from 400 000 to 2.4million and 50 percent of which are under 19 years of age. And the unemployment rate is sitting at 73 percent. We are serious about township economic transformation and youth participation. We felt ashamed that Mr Rani has never been recognised in Khayelitsha where he started his business yet he was being recognised all over the World,” he said.
Mr Jongile stressed that one of their fundamental long-term plans is to start a township bank which would look at the needs of small businesses, stockvel groups, bereavement societies and taxi associations. The aim is to leverage from the resources, intellectual capacity networks and skills, he said.
Luvuyo Rani was beaming with pride, saying he was over the moon with joy and he battled to find words to express his gratitude. He said it always feels good to be honoured at home.
Silulo Ulutho Technologies has 40 internet cafés, 22 of which are operating in the Eastern Cape, while 18 are in the Western Cape. The company employs over 100 people.
“I’m speechless about this recognition and I feel humble by this honour. The goal now is to expand the company to all over the country because currently we are only operating in two provinces. I say to Ikamva founders that they should persevere and know that the road won’t be easy and there will be times where they will feel like giving it all up,” he said.