Thanks to the Social Relief of Distress Fund (SRD) grant, which has now been extended for another year, many people who were previously unemployed have been brought out of depression and hopelessness. Using the R350 they have received since 2020 as part of the state’s Covid-19 relief plans, they were able to create employment for themselves.
One of these people is Avuyile Hono, who together with his girlfriend and business partner Zusiphe Zimoshile, used the grant to establish a clothing business called Dankoo Clothing. According to Hono, who is based in Hout Bay in Cape Town, life became difficult during the pandemic. “My girlfriend and I are into fashion, and we had our own fashion brand previously named after my surname. However, the business failed, and we tried again,” he told Vutivi News.
Hono said that his girlfriend saved her R350 for a year from 2020 to 2021 and he contributed a bit of money to start the new business. “We used the money to pay for fabric, branding and labour and launched it in December 2021. We sold over 100 units on the first day, and we now have clients all over the country and even in other countries like Namibia,” he said.
Another entrepreneur, Nonkululeko Zwane, also used the grant to start a business. Zwane who is from Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal is the founder of Thingo Eats and Catering. Although she graduated from the University of Zululand with a Degree in Information Sciences, just like more than half of the country’s youth, she could not find work. “I sat down with my mother and she advised me to start selling chicken wings because all I had left was the R350 I got from the grant,” she said.
“I did not want to waste the money, so I decided to put it to good use,” Zwane said that she started delivering and selling her wings to schools, clinics, hospitals and businesses. She eventually started selling pap with chicken and sides, and now even has a menu for patients who are chronically ill. Over time Zwane was able to rent a mobile kitchen which has greatly increased her sales.
“It was very difficult to start because a lot of people mocked me, saying that I went to university to obtain a degree only to sell chicken wings on the streets,” she said. “However, I was encouraged by the fact that I had my eyes set on success, and if it wasn’t for the grant I don’t know where I would be.” President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in his recent State of the Nation Address that the grant would be extended for another year. In the meantime, talks on introducing a Basic Income Grant are continuing.