Absa Bank Sets Aside R10,5m To Uplift The Township Economy

Updated on 26 July 2017

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Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (26 July)

Absa Bank has extended a R3,5 million facility to eSpaza Sum Holdings to help the company in its endevour to uplift and modernise 22 spaza shops in Mamelodi and Pretoria West. A further R7 million will be extended to help uplift Mpumalanga and Limpopo spaza shops as the financial year progresses, taking the bank’s total contribution towards the transformation of township economies in the region to R10,5 million.

eSpaza Sum Managing Director and founder, Tshepo Seeta says: “Absa’s support will not only see the sustainable establishment of spaza shops but it is envisaged to create jobs and help these spaza shop’s net triple times more profit as they have in the past. The project has already seen transformed spaza’s record a 300% increase in airtime sales.”

eSpaza Sum aims to accelerate the transformation of 100% black-owned spaza shops into sustainable businesses that can compete with major retailers in the mainstream economy. The company secures greater access to markets, procurement, distribution channels and a variety of stock and merchandise at competitive pricing in partnership with Big Save, one of South Africa’s largest wholesalers. It also holds monthly store promotions on behalf of spaza shops and restores their images into well-structured, recognisable, brand backed and established businesses.

Absa aims to provide spaza shops identified through this project with the required banking solutions to run a formal business and fast track skills development with financial literacy training for spaza shop owners so that they can get better at reading a balance sheet, understand income statements and sharpen their knowledge on how to grow a business through social media.

Oscar Siziba, Absa Managing Executive in Pretoria, Limpopo, Mpumalanga says: “Our investment in eSpaza Sum is how Absa is contributing to the growth and formalisation of township businesses and economies in line with our Shared Growth commitment to improve the employability or self-employability prospects of young people and entrepreneurs across the country. This also forms part of our Mandela month celebrations.”

Pretoria Inner City Development Creating Jobs, Says Mayor

The Tshwane municipality says around 700 job opportunities have been created through its Pretoria CBD inner city development, in partnership with property management group City Property.

On Tuesday, Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga said the inner city development, which is hoped to transform the Pretoria inner city, was in line with his vision for the private sector to come on board in transforming the capital city.

“The city acknowledges that it could not do any of the transformation work without the support of the private sector. That is why we assisted City Property in the approval of their development applications, specifically by fast-tracking their building and site development plans,” said Msimanga in a statement.

“From the city’s side, specific initiatives have been commissioned to clean the city, broken and defective streetlights have been identified and are in the process of being replaced to improve lighting.  We have trimmed trees in the CBD, managed to have the streets painted for the first time in years and managed the clean-up Brown Street.”

He said such operations showed that the new administration was committed to improving service delivery to its residents. The Tshwane partnership with City Property has seen the redevelopment of several buildings which have been let to “blue-chip national tenants”.

“Seven hundred job opportunities have already been created owing to this project alone and is demonstrative of how many more can be created through the rejuvenation of our inner city and the confidence that instills,” said Msimanga.

He said of the 700, over 30 percent of the employed people were from the local labour force which included painters, plasterers, bricklayers, plumbers and electrical workers.

A further 30 permanent jobs were created in the property administration industry. This included security, cleaning and building staff. Additional jobs would be created by a variety of retail tenants, including the anchor tenant, Shoprite, said Msimanga.

City Property managing director Jeffrey Wapnick said his organisation was pleased that Tshwane was now showing a commitment to rejuvenating the inner city.

“We started the urban renewal journey more than two decades ago and are pleased that our efforts are recognised by the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality,” said Wapnick.

“If the City of Tshwane has identified the CBD as a strategic node and is willing to provide the necessary support, we are hopeful that the other investors will follow suit and invest in Tshwane.” (via African News Agency)

Sanlam Private Equity Acquires 60% Stake In JAB Dried Fruit

Sanlam Private Equity, a division of Sanlam Investment Management, has acquired a 60% interest in JAB Dried Fruit Products, according to African Capital Digest.

JAB is a processor and distributor of dried fruits and nuts to markets in South Africa and overseas. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The report states: “JAB Dried Fruit Products is a family-owned business located in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga. It was founded in 1979 by the Barnards, and today employs more than 800 permanent workers at its 17,000 square metre processing facility. That number is boosted by an additional 700 temporary employees during the mango processing season.”

JAB’s factory processes a broad range of fruits sourced from across South Africa, including bananas, guavas, papayas, pineapples, kiwis, peaches, pears, apples and persimmons.

SPE CEO, Alton Solomons is quoted saying, “We pride ourselves on forging strong partnerships and bolstering management teams in their journey to growing the business and expanding into new markets,” said Alton Solomons, Sanlam Private Equity’s CEO. “Our partnership with this 38 year old family-owned business is apt testimony to this, and we look forward to assisting the company in reaching its strategic growth objectives.” (via African Capital Digest)

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