NEF funds town's first shopping centre, SMALL BUSINESS CONNECT
A LOAN of R23,3 million from the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) helped a business owner realise his dream of building the rural town's first shopping centre and in the process provide jobs to 115 people. The NEF is seeks to assist black businesses with both financial and non financial support. Sibongile Mdyesha says the idea to construct Willowvale Shopping Centre came to him when he thought about the number of people who were forced to travel to a different town so that they could do basic things such as buy food and do banking. Willowvale is situated 30 km from Idutywa and 80 km from Butterworth. “The area needed a facelift. There was poverty, unemployment, a lack of development, no infrastructure, and the people here were dependent on other towns so I decided to close the gap,” says Mdyesha.