ithala Development Finance Corporation - From taxi to bus owning, Mlalazi trading is winning at transporting people
ithala Development Finance Corporation - From taxi to bus owning, Mlalazi trading is winning at transporting people



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ithala Development Finance Corporation - From taxi to bus owning, Mlalazi trading is winning at transporting people

2018-06-29

Mlalazi Trading the Eshowe-based bus owning cooperative has ploughed R10.5 million into purchasing five new buses to expand its fleet and routes.

The cooperative recently took possession of the first three of five new buses, each with a price tag of R2.1 million, which will bring its total fleet number to 15.

“Last year we saw the opportunity to expand our business and asked government to add four additional routes to our subsidy, which they accepted,” said Thamsanqa Ngcobo, chairperson of Mlalazi Trading.

With the approval to expand secured the co-operative turned to Ithala for funding for five buses the fifth being and extra vehicle which could be used as a substitute at any time.

 â€œWe are so excited to have received three buses. This is the beginning of great things,” said Ngcobo.

The investment comes on the heels of Mlalazi Trading’s win at this year’s Ithala Business Achievers Awards where they walked away with the Logistical Services Business of the Year award.

In addition to expanding their bus fleet the co-op is busy constructing a R1,5 million depot which they believe will improve the quality of their service and stakeholder relationships.

The story of Mlalazi Trading begins seven years ago when the10 co-operative members were all taxi drivers.  They were approached by the Department of Transport to convert their taxi operation to a bus operation as a part of government’s ongoing efforts to implement transformation policies and diversify various sectors of the economy. 

“When we started out we didn’t have money to buy new buses so the buses we used were leased. There were many hassles involved with that process so in 2014 we collectively decided to apply for funding to buy eight buses. We went straight to Ithala because we knew it is the only bank that caters for the needs of the black market,” said Ngcobo.

The application was granted and they were able to purchase the new buses. But shortly after that the business started operating at a loss and they could not keep up with repayments.

Ngcobo said: “Ithala was very understanding during that difficult time and they extended the repayment period until we were back on our feet.”

The co-operative currently employs 37 locals consisting of 12 drivers, two workshop assistants, two bus washers and office staff.

Ngcobo said transparency was a crucial part of succeeding in this business. “We have regular meetings with executives to track the co-operatives progress.  We believe we have a prosperous future ahead of us and would like to eventually add long-distance coach buses to our fleet.”

Ithala acting Group Chief Executive, Thembe Mathe said that IDFC’s key mandate is to be a catalyst for economic development and empowerment.

“We aim to be responsive to the development needs of the provinces’ people land and proactive in identifying and catalysing entrepreneurial opportunities that become available.

“This initiative and many others that we are involved in, is supportive of government’s Radical Socio-Economic Transformation agenda,” he said.

For more information on Ithala visit www.myithalastory.com or www.ithala.co.za or call 031 907 8911.

Ends 

Issued by:       Ithala Development Finance Corporation

                        29 Canal Quay Road, Point Waterfront, Durban




ithala Development Finance Corporation - From taxi to bus owning, Mlalazi trading is winning at transporting people

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