Construction World

The sheer determination to break the shackles of poverty in which Thokozane Masikane-Zondi and her six siblings found themselves while growing up has reaped dividends for the KwaZulu-Natal entrepreneur.

KZN entrepreneurAs she reflects on her 11-year-old manufacturing and construction business, Tiba T. Trading Enterprise, she is cognisant of the fact that the road to business success was never easy.

Masikane-Zondi, 40, was born in the rural community of Ashdown in Pietermaritzburg where she was raised by her parents under difficult conditions.

“My parents struggled to put us through school and when it was my turn to get a tertiary education, I couldn’t and, therefore, decided to look for a job,” she said.

“I worked at Checkers Cascade briefly before doing voluntary work at the South African Police Service and the Child Protection Unit in the hope of finding permanent employment but I was unsuccessful.”

Her entrepreneurial journey began in 2006 when she registered her company which manufactures a range of blocks for construction purposes. Big corporates and walk-in customers are among her clientele.

After signing a few small projects, she was intent on growing her thriving business and decided to seek financial assistance.

After being turned down by commercial banks and offered uncompetitive interest rates, she knocked on the doors of Ithala Development Finance Corporation which was her saving grace.

Not only was she impressed by the efficiency and hospitality of the bank staff but she also received competitive interest rates.

The mother of three boys – aged six, two and one – now resides in Hilton, Pietermaritzburg and believes she was always destined for greatness.

Not fazed by the male-dominated construction industry, she is surging ahead to fulfil her dream of landing large-scale projects and branching into transport and logistics.

Drawing inspiration from construction mogul, Dr Thandi Ndlovu of Motheo Construction, she believes her goal is within sight.

Masikane-Zondi currently employs 10 permanent and nine casual employees who assist with every aspect of her business, thereby allowing her more time to grow the company’s client base.

She attributes her business success to sheer hard work, resilience and having a financial institution that believed in her.

Her greatest rewards are being able to help families earn a living from the jobs she has created and helping her community to build their dream homes.

When asked when she plans to retire, she chuckled before replying: “There are no such plans as yet.”

She encouraged all current and aspiring entrepreneurs looking for financial assistance to contact Ithala, especially the youth and women, stating they would not regret it.

Masikane-Zondi is one of four category award winners in Ithala’s 2017 Business Achiever Awards where she bagged the “Micro-business of the Year” award and a cash prize of R30 000.

Ithala was declared a finalist in the Vision 2030 Awards in the Industrial Action Plan Award category in recognition of the organisation’s commitment and significant contributions to moving the nation forward, as a leader in the sector and as a proponent of the National Development Plan.

Contact Construction World

Title: Editor
Name: Wilhelm du Plessis
Email: constr@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

Title: Advertising Manager
Name: Erna Oosthuizen
Email: ernao@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

 
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