Makhoba Farms and Nestlé are proud to commemorate the fourth year of the successful graduation of 100 Youth Employment Services (YES) interns. The government’s YES programme was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2018 to address South Africa’s youth unemployment crisis and has since changed the trajectory of a cumulative 400 youths’ sprouting careers.

Inyosi Empowerment, the YES programme implementing partner, led the initiative at Makhoba Farms as part of Nestlé’s Supplier Development plan. Part of this development plan included a proposed YES initiative. After being introduced by Nestlé, Inyosi provided loan funding to Springfontein Dairy, Nestle’s largest black owned dairy supplier. To date, Inyosi, with support from Nestle, has transformed the careers of hundreds of local youths and provided them with the tools to succeed in the workforce.

YES graduate and Makhoba community member, Yamkela Mathe, credits the programme with changing his life. “The YES internship at Makhoba Farms has been an amazing and truly life-changing experience. The knowledge I gained through the programme has positively impacted my career path and I’ve been able to open doors, especially in the welding department. I’m now working for DeLaval which is also an amazing dairy equipment supplier company. I wouldn’t be here and have access to employment opportunities if it wasn’t for Inyosi and the Makhoba Farms”.

In 2022 alone 24% of the Makhoba YES interns were employed by Makhoba farms upon graduation from the programme. The majority of the remaining graduates were employed by external entities due to their enhanced skills training and experience. The training at Makhoba spans across various agri-preneurship tasks including alien clearing, feed production, vegetable production, composting, animal care, fencing, security, construction, ICT and computer software training, and first aid.

Ntokozo Madlopha, who is currently living out his dream of running a sheep co-op by the name of AMBITIOUS FUTURE PRIMARY COOP, shares that, “Being a part of the programme was truly life-changing for me. I will forever be grateful for the guidance, mentorship, and support provided by Mr. Russell, Mr. Veco, and Mr. Todd. They helped shape me into the person and employee I am today. The opportunities to attend AgriSETA training added invaluable knowledge and recognition to my qualifications. With hard work and determination, I hope to continue to grow and make a positive impact, contributing to the success of the Huntley dairy farm in Kokstad. I will always cherish the lessons and experiences gained through this programme”.

The Makhoba Farms also has a unique history as a successful example of land restitution and restoration. Makhoba Farms, owned by the Mzabane Makhoba Trust and chaired by Chief Ambrose Makhoba and 15 trustees, benefits 14 000 families. The land was transferred back to the Makhoba community in 2002 after a successful land claim. Since then, Makhoba has been able to steadily improve the farming operations.

Makhoba Farms has become a beacon of hope for communities seeking to reclaim their land and build a better future. “Makhoba Farms and by extension Springfontein Dairy are more than just a dairy farm, they serve as a model for agricultural and community development based on shared value. Our goal is to create a mutually beneficial ecosystem where the community is enriched and the farm leverages capital growth. It’s a shared value outcome for Nestlé and the community. It is not an easy journey, but it is one to which we are committed” says Evan Jones, founder of Inyosi Empowerment.

Inyosi Empowerment has provided both Springfontein Dairy at Makhoba Farms and SMEs alike with much-needed access to funding, markets, and skills. Their Annual Impact Report for 2022 indicates that the company has provided a cumulative R912 million in loan funding to black-owned businesses across a wide variety of sectors that meet their loan requirements. Moreover, Inyosi has contributed to the creation of 63,177 jobs since its inception in 2012 with a focus on black and female employees.

As we enter 2023, companies like Nestlé, Makhoba Farms, and Inyosi Empowerment exude a hopeful vision for SA’s youth employment trajectory. Join us in celebrating the sweet success of Makhoba Farms and its commitment to youth employment and community empowerment.

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