Speedy rise for women-owned township bakery

09 May 2019 | Web Article Number:

Government & Municipal
SMME Development & Support
Speedy rise for women-owned township bakery
EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede and the Chairperson of Economic Development and Planning Committee Councillor Sipho Kaunda celebrating the opening of Vuka Uyibambe bakery facility

IN just under a year, a group of five young township women have seen their dreams of owning their own bakery business come alive with the assistance of the eThekwini Municipality.  

From humble beginnings baking cakes and scones in their parents’ kitchen, the aspiring businesswomen now have their own fully-fledged bakery facility.  

Vuka Uyibambe, loosely translated to “Rise up”, is located at KwaMashu’s M-Section in Shongololo Road. It is equipped with two measuring scales, a mixer, dough warmer, oven, bread slicer and a stand. The bakery machine is able to produce wedding cakes, pizza and about 1000 loaves of bread at a time.

Addressing the community during the official handover, Mayor Zandile Gumede said the bakery programme is an empowerment initiative aimed at delivering the objectives of the Radical Economic Transformation Framework which she launched in 2017. “These objectives include prioritising support to emerging businesses, youth and women-owned enterprises as well as previously disadvantaged businesses.” 

She said the businesses model would play a big role in boosting township economy and in creating jobs opportunities. “The same initiative will be taken to other regions and a budget has been set aside for this.”  

She added that the City would soon install an internet café for local youth at the bakery site.  The remaining space is earmarked for other business activities such as a salon or for fast foods outlet.   

The young women’s business journey began in 2015 and it took a turn for the better in August last year during the North Regional Business Fair at Bridge City Mall. This is where one of the women plucked up the courage to approach Gumede for assistance. Impressed by their tenacity and business zeal, the Mayor delegated officials and councillors to make their dream a reality.  

During the launch, executives from big retail stores at the Bridge City Mall, including Shoprite Checkers, Spar and Pick n Pay were in attendance. The Municipality is engaging them to support the co-operative.   

Ntombi Sibiya of Vuka Uyibambe thanked the municipality for heeding their pleas. “Our goal is to supply neighbouring townships and bigger supermarkets. We are determined to make our business a success, which will subsequently ensure job creation for other youth in the area. The City will never regret sponsoring us, that’s a promise,” she said.  

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