Lindiwe Masango knows what it is like to live without access to clean drinking water. Living in Mamelodi township in the province of Gauteng, this is a reality for many residents.

After working in the corporate world for over a decade, Lindiwe Masango was more than ready for a change. In 2018 she took the plunge and embarked on her entrepreneurial journey – starting a business that sprung from a place close to home.  With a vision to support her community with access to such a basic necessity, she set the wheels in motion for Lee Ice Cubes — a venture dedicated to providing purified water to the community.

Lindiwe brings something new and exciting to the table: a female-owned small business in a township where enterprises like these are somewhat of a rarity. Her focus on purified water, personalised services, and the availability of office-sized water bottles gives her a competitive advantage.

Lee Ice Cubes has evolved a lot since it first opened its doors. Despite the growth, Lindiwe was not immune to challenges, having to deal with very demanding clients expecting miracles within unrealistic timelines.

Participating in the Nedbank-funded Ranyaka Building Business programme in 2022 made a big difference to Lindiwe’s entrepreneurial journey. It reshaped her thinking, breaking her out of the box and equipping her with the knowledge and practical skills needed for running a successful small business. Lindiwe also found hope through the programme, seeing a shift from job seeking to job creation for herself and South Africa.

Looking to the future, Lindiwe has big plans for her business. Her short-term goals involve expanding her business across the whole of the Gauteng province. Her long-term dreams are even bigger and include a global outreach. She is already hard at work to boost her brand’s visibility in prominent locations such as the malls in Mamelodi, and online platforms like Makro, Loot, and Bob Shop.

Balancing the demands of a small business and personal life is not easy. To lessen the pressure, Lindiwe advises aspiring entrepreneurs to make an effort when it comes to planning and to learn to say no to commitments they cannot fulfill. She also highlights the importance of not sleeping on your dreams, saying: “Start now and believe in your potential. Don’t wait!”

Lindiwe has learned valuable lessons since starting her business. Where she was once afraid of failing, she now knows that failure is not the end of everything but rather a stepping stone to success that can lead to amazing things. 

Images: Lizelle Lotter Photography