Shamila Trading Enterprises, located in Rolle village, Thulamahashe district, Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga was recently awarded product certification by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) for its brick making products. Thulamahashe was identified by provincial government as an area that required infrastructure and that construction resources should be sourced from local communities. The company realised the potential and began to significantly invest in developing the business to meet the demand of developments in the area.
“The path towards achieving product certification has not been easy, however the benefits have been rewarding and has set us apart from other brick making companies. As a business owner to really participate in economic opportunities you need product certification. The SABS certificate provides assurance to our clients that our products meet quality standards and that the required management systems are in place,” says Shadow Nyathi, founder and CEO of Shamila Trading Enterprises.
Nyathi has grown his business in the last two years from one employee making a few bricks for community use, to employing 56 employees currently. The majority (41) of employees are residents of Rolle village. “Rolle village is where I grew up, the premises of my business is where my grandmother lived and seeing Shamila flourish is a dream come true for me and my community. Job creation, the ability to learn skills and participate in the development opportunities in our neighbourhood provides tangible hope for my community for a brighter future,” says Nyathi.
Shamila Trading Enterprises is one of 29 small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in Mpumalanga that were identified and selected for business development, as an initiative of the Mpumalanga provincial government to enable and empower small businesses in the construction sector. The programme was conceptualised and funded by the provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT) and the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA). SABS was the implementation partner that worked with the SMMEs to develop quality management systems, processes and guide the way towards product certification.
“Partnerships with provincial governments and organisations like DEDT and MEGA are proving successful to developing a sustainable local supplier base for quality products. Without the significant development of SMMEs, they will continue to remain on the side-lines of economic opportunities. Such partnerships move beyond the development of SMMEs for development sake by creating real market participation opportunities, so that local businesses and the communities they serve begin to thrive,” says Garth Strachan, Acting CEO of SABS.