“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I built my life.” These words by a famous author also ring true for Zinhle Maphanga, one of thousands of small business owners whose business was looted in July 2021.

Zinhle employed a team of two at her sweet shop, Zinhle’s All Things Sweets, in Philani Mall in S-section of Umlazi, Durban. Following the looting that took place in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in mid-2021, the Ranyaka team set out to conduct a survey among approximately 150 business owners, including Zinhle, to establish how the Nedbank Proud of My Town programme could be of assistance.

As part of the overarching Together, Beke le Beke campaign, Nedbank’s PoMT programme contribution to Zinhle, as well as additional funding from the Department of Trade and Industry enabled her to reopen her doors – this time at one of the largest and busiest new malls in Umlazi, the KwaMnyandu Mall. Her new shop is twice the size and her team has grown to four employees.

Apart from working full-time, Zinhle is also currently part of the Young Entrepreneurs Hosting Academy (YEHA) programme which aims to harness the potential of young entrepreneurs by equipping them with a range of vital entrepreneurial skills and providing mentorship in various areas of business.  Zinhle applied for the course last year when Ranyaka started to work with YEHA by referring entrepreneurs to the programme.  She attends YEHA every Monday, the same day she does the ordering for her shop alongside other managerial tasks.

Whilst she is extremely grateful for the opportunity to run her business from a new location, Zinhle is determined to reopen her old shop in Philani Mall as soon as the mall is operational again.


Images by Londi Msimang

Umlazi is one of 19 communities in 9 towns in 7 provinces across South Africa that is part of Nedbank’s Proud of my Town initiative. Ranyaka is the implementation agent for Proud of my Town. Building Business is one of ten programmes that form part of PoMT. Read more about the Building Business programme here