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.