By: Keletso Mkhwanazi.
The constant increase in population numbers and new home ownership led Limpopo-born Thabang Monyepao to start a company manufacturing toilet paper. Delightful Softies Manufacturing Enterprises is a 100% black-owned business and is the only toilet tissue roll converting facility in Ladanna in Polokwane, Limpopo. It was established in 2018 after the 26-year-old abandoned his aircraft engineering career. Monyapao told Vutivi News that being involved in manufacturing came easily to him as he used to manufacture aircraft components. “We manufacture all types of toilet papers and garage rolls. We can manufacture 25,000 rolls per shift in 8 hours,” said Monyapao.
The business operates at Doonkraal plot with their automatic machines in Seshego. After registering his business as a small-scale production line, the National Youth Development Agency funded him with an R50,000 business grant in 2019 so that he could purchase raw materials to produce more stock. “Our machines do most of the work. They are able to produce 30 to 40,000 toilet rolls in 24 hours,” he said. “We have employed 10 full-time workers and five temporary workers, and we are currently supplying over 100 wholesalers around the Limpopo province.”
Monyapao’s long-term vision for the company is to be a leading manufacturer of disposable tissue products in sub-Saharan Africa. “Honesty and integrity in operations and taking our responsibility seriously drive us to strive in everything we do to ensure that we provide services that benefit all our customers. Polokwane communities (are where) we live, so they’ll always be prosperous,” said Monyapao.
He also had plans to branch out into producing other goods. “Extensive market research has revealed that toilet rolls are an everyday consumer necessity used by everyone. The company plans to add a line of extensions such as wet wipes, and longer-term baby and elderly diapers to its range,” Monyapao said that while his product was in demand, they needed the government’s help to overcome certain challenges. “We humbly ask for help so that we may expand when more doors open,” he said.