By: Tebogo Mokwena
Pamela Munemo saw the hunger that South African entrepreneurs had for importing from other countries, but a lack of knowledge was hampering them. Eager to be of service to SMMEs, she teamed up with someone experienced in the export industry and started creating linkages for local businesses with Asian markets. According to Munemo, who has been in the entrepreneurial space since 2017, she was already importing goods from Asia before she launched Right on Time Cargo Logistics in 2022.
Through her company, Aesthetic Laser Solutions, she was introduced to the Asian market. However, she had no experience working or dealing in the sector as an entrepreneur. She then partnered with Linelle van Sturaaten, who has over 14 years of experience. Munemo said that her experience came in handy in the toughest of times. Right on Time Cargo Logistics, which is in Durban, employs four people. When Munemo started out, she wanted to employ men in her company, but because she was not taken seriously, she decided to stick to women.
“It is a male-dominated sector, because when you import and you want to pack or unpack goods you need men to offload,” she said. “Companies competing with me would also try and take my clients, but I avoid that by providing excellent service and maintaining good relationships with my clients.” A total of 80% of their clients ship from China, India, and Ghana,” Munemo said. “We ship for both small and big businesses and use sea and air shipping,” Munemo said that she enjoyed teaching others about importing including how to buy, negotiate and bargain for the right price.
She has been teaching since she started the business, for which she spent around R20,000 to start because needed an office, a desktop computer, and warehouse space. “Clients normally pay for the warehouse space so her company has a contract with a warehouse that enables it to pay them when a client pays. “A lot of people in the country want to be entrepreneurs and import from international markets, but they do not know how to engage the market,” she said. “Importing involves having strong relationships, knowing the product you import, and the strict regulations on what to import and what not to import.”
Munemo told Vutivi News that her aim was to employ up to 100 people and export to other markets other than Asia. “I want to open branches in every province so that I can give my clients the ability to walk into the office and learn more about the process on a face-to-face basis.”