The Eskom Development Foundation visited three Port Elizabeth-based small and medium enterprises on Wednesday, 28 March, to see how the businesses have been performing since participating in the 2017 Eskom Business Investment competition (BIC). Ductile Plastics and Extruders, LBN Hygiene Solutions and Lungisupreme Brands SA all featured and were named as finalists in the competition.
- Nine years ago, Gerald Barth revamped and rebranded a family business that sold recycled and extruded plastics, creating 42 jobs in the process. Ductile Plastics and Extruders sources raw plastics for extrusion. The materials get melted down into pellets before being sold to converters who make irrigation pipes. The business has increased its production output from 30 to 80 tons per month after procuring additional machinery. Ductile Plastics was named as a first runner-up in the manufacturing sector of the BIC.
- Lazola Buntu Nxele started his chemical production company, LBN Hygiene Solutions in 2012. The company manufactures a variety of household and industrial detergents and also sells Protective Clothing. In total the company manufactures 15 different types of products and currently, six of their products are approved by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). The business currently employs four people. In a bid to increase their production volumes, the company recently secured funding from Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), bought their own equipment and can now produce 17 600 litres of each product per day.
- The brainchild of Lungisa Lutshaba, Lungispreme Brands SA is a household food and beverage producer which also has a skin care line, currently producing facial soap. The company is a proudly home-grown manufacturing business, with two products already launched to market, Mineral Mellow flavoured bottled water and Sunpheka cooking oil in small bottles and sachets. With his focus mainly in the fast moving consumer goods space, Lungisa also wants to introduce flavoured margarine to his product range.
The visit to these businesses is part of the Eskom Foundation’s efforts to support small businesses in their quest for growth and job creation. Various prizes including training and workshops are awarded to all finalists of the BIC and Eskom follows up to see the progress being made by the small businesses.
Launched in 2008, the BIC gives an opportunity to registered black-owned SMEs that have been operating for a minimum of two years, a chance to win great prizes that can help them grow and create more job opportunities, thus boosting economic activity in their local communities. Categories include engineering and construction; trade and services, manufacturing as well as agriculture/agri-processing.
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