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The basics of reviewing your Business Model

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Your business model is your business’s plan to make a profit. It’s an outline on how your business plans to make money which allows you to identify your target market and their needs, the expenses you should anticipate as well as the products and services your business plans to sell. Business plans are important for both new and established organisations, as they help businesses attract investment and talent. Importantly, they help assess whether things are working the way you want them to.

To keep ahead of trends and changes, it’s important to review and update your model. Here are 4 ways to consider reviewing your business model. 

  1. Customer value proposition
  2. Profitability
  3. Resources
  4. Processes 
Customer value proposition

Do you still resonate with your customers and are you taking their feedback into consideration? Reviewing your value proposition is a great way to establish your relevance in meeting your customers’ current problems, or how you can make adjustments to your product to keep improving their situation.

Doing customer research to establish what your customers need can help you in this process. It can give you quantified feedback on the specific benefits of your products. You can find some useful tips for this on our blog post How to Drive Sales Through Customer Retention. It could also spark ideas that you may have overlooked initially. Remember to solve real and important problems for your customers, maintain your differentiation from competitors, and remind your customers why they should trust your brand. 

Profitability

It’s imperative to understand your profitability for the success of your business. The profit your business makes should be used to help secure growth opportunities. Analyse how your business brings in money and opportunities for growth. Start with a profit and loss statement. If you don’t already have one in place, you can start by individually listing how your business generates income and spends money. Also consider doing a pricing review to understand if you’re making enough margin to be profitable. Once you’ve consolidated the audit, you can try to eliminate work that costs you money, and focus on opportunities that generate income. To get a good idea on how to approach this, have a look at Freshbook’s step by step outline on how to check if your business is profitable. 

Resources

Take some time to consider if the resources currently available to you are appropriate for your business model and how it’s evolving. Do you have access to the right people, and are you meeting your financial goals? Whether the answer is yes or no, it’s always a good idea to review this aspect of your business. Consider your capacity and demand management, your resource utilization as well as your progress and time tracking. It’s important to establish your actual resource availability and to get a realistic view of your demands and capacity to deliver. Understand what roles and skill sets you need and streamline communication between your employees and the business, as well as with your stakeholders. If you’d like some ideas on how to get started, Planview – a portfolio and work management solutions organisation – has great advice on resource management best practices.

Processes

To run a business, processes are used everyday. In the quest for efficiency it’s important to review them and keep the ones that make sense and improve the ones that don’t. With rapid changes in technology and the evolving demands of your target market, dysfunctional processes can lead to breakdowns in communication, increased costs or unhappy customers to name a few challenges. Make this an important step to review to help streamline your tasks and business activities. To get started on this consider these steps recommended and outlined on Mindtools:

  • Step 1: Map the process
  • Step 2: Analyse the process
  • Step 3: Redesign the process
  • Step 4: Acquire resources
  • Step 5: Implement and communicate change
  • Step 6: Review the process    
Conclusion

Running a business is hard work, but regularly reviewing your Business Model can make planning for the future easier. Make it a priority to keep up with the ever evolving needs of your clients, talent and expectations of any investors so you can stay relevant. Try not to overlook the components that make you successful and how you can upgrade them.

Remember, if any of your adjustments need financing that you might not have at the time you can always get in touch with one of our Funding Specialists at Lulalend to find out how we can help you meet your business objectives.

3 Ways CRM software can grow your business

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Customer Relationship Management (CRM) needs to be a high priority for any business owner. While the focus on product and service cannot be underestimated, CRM is seen as the lifeblood of what can grow your business. Your customers are an asset to your business, and retaining them should never take a back seat.

Every business owner should have a CRM program that provides customer data and analytics software to help identify customer habits and behaviour. With these insights, you will be able to personalise how you treat your customers and reward them accordingly for their loyalty.

The importance of CRM for your business

Using tactics for your business, you are able to develop a lasting relationship with your customers. CRM can generate an increase in profits for your business by increasing loyalty from your existing customers – who typically spend more than new customers and are cheaper to retain than it is acquiring new customers. The data that is collected from CRM activity can also be used to develop loyalty and promotional programs, as well as establish databases for business insights and intelligence. By taking out a business loan to invest in CRM tools that can grow your business and keep your customers happy.

Use customer insights to your advantage

The insights gained from CRM can identify patterns and trends in your customer behaviour in real-time that will allow you to quickly jump on opportunities that could catch the attention of your customers. With the data received, you can develop customer profiles based ondemographic, geographic or other information and then send targeted messages to customers from a specific segment. You will be able to gain a deeper understanding of your customers and tailor your services or product offerings to their needs – ultimately improving your customer satisfaction.

Creating a personalised experience

The great thing about CRM is that it can keep track of the essential dates, such as first purchase anniversary and the customer’s birthday, for you to create a personalised experience for the customer. When the event takes place, the customer can receive reminders or endearing messages to make them feel special. You may also reach out to customers with special offers or send them email notifications of events or discounts based on their preferences which you can capture.

A customised experience goes a long way in establishing customer loyalty. You can apply for business funding in Johannesburg, Durban or anywhere in South Africa to access much-needed funding to invest in CRM marketing tools. A cash boost, plus a steller personalised marketing campaign based on your CRM data, can generate customer loyalty and a lasting relationship.

Wine industry information days focus on sustainability

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“We invite wine grape growers, viticulturists and other interested parties to join us as we discuss various aspects of sustainability, including the economy, climate change, best irrigation practices, effective spray application and the use of natural predators,” says Conrad Schutte, manager of Vinpro’s viticultural consultation service.

The information days are being presented physically for the first time, after being held in a webinar format since the onset of Covid-19. Only a limited number of seats are available and strict safety protocols will apply. The same programme will be followed for the most part, and some of the days will be presented in collaboration with the biological control specialists fieldBUGS.

At a macro-economic level, Christo Conradie from Vinpro will give an overview of the status of the South African wine industry, including the latest stock levels, industry trends in other renowned wine producing countries, the situation at farm level and the way forward.

How do wine grape growers from around the globe view climate change and how do they plan to adapt to it? Dr Etienne Neethling of Vintage Master and GRAPPE-ESA-INRA, France, will share the wine world’s approach towards climate change.

One way in which the wine industry can adapt to climate change is by following best irrigation practices and in doing so, better utiliseing the available water resources. Dr Philip Myburgh from ARC Nietvoorbij will provide guidelines on the use of soil and plant-based measurements for irrigation scheduling, including different irrigation methods, measurement methodology and the placement, installation and calibration of irrigation systems, as well as the interpretation and application of irrigation data. Francois Viljoen of the Gen-Z Vineyard Project will expand on this by means of case studies.

When it comes to crop protection, it is essential to know what factors influence the effective application of sprays. Marius Ras of Ras Consult will elucidate these factors and share effective management practices. Environmentally friendly vineyard practices include the use of natural predators as part of a vineyard management plan, which Brahm Jonker of fieldBUGS will elaborate on.

The dates of the regional information days are as follows:

7 September, 09:00 – Paarl/Swartland
7 September, 14:00 – Stellenbosch/Coastal Region
8 September, 09:00 – Robertson/Klein Karoo
8 September, 14:00 – Worcester/Breedekloof
14 September, 18:00 – Olifants River

Costs and registration

The attendance fee for the respective regional information days range from R150 to R250 per person. Register online at any of the regional links above, visit https://sales.vinpro.co.za/ or contact Lesley Paulse at 021 276 0429, lesley@vinpro.co.za.

Northern Cape hosts tailor-made days

Two regional information days will also be presented on 25 August in Keimoes (09:00) and Grootdrink (14:00), with its own programme tailor made to the region.

Stefan Jordaan from Raisins SA and Mosdop Dippenaar from Orange River Cellars will respectively give an overview of the effect of powdery and downy mildew on raisin and wine quality, after which Pieter le Roux from Villa will share tips for effective disease control. Jannie Bosman of Bosman Adama Nursery will emphasise the importance of virus-free plant material, and alternative weed control and spray programs specific to the Orange River region are also on the agenda.

For enquiries or registrations contact André Agenbag at 054 461 1006 or andre2@owk.co.za.

Vodacom RT15 contract with government extended for another five years as part of RT15-2021

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Four years after the Mobile Communication Services contract was established and awarded to Vodacom Business in 2016, National Treasury has chosen to retain the services of Vodacom awarding the company with a new mobile communication services contract. This after government technology expenditure had been significantly reduced, using innovative digital solutions within several departments and municipalities through the first contract known as the RT15-16.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with government for another five-years to accelerate its digitalisation programme through the new RT15-2021 transversal contract. Through the previous contract, we successfully delivered significant financial benefits in costs savings, expedited and streamlined procurement of services and ushered unprecedented digitalisation of government departments, agencies, state owned entities and municipalities,” said Chief Executive Officer of Vodacom Business, William Mzimba

The RT15-16 served as a platform for Vodacom Business to support government and amplify their productivity while increasing efficiency. To achieve the expected results, Vodacom Business provided IT and business solutions and increased the number of mobile lines available to them.

Mzimba adds: “In particular, our partnership with government resulted in the improved delivery of education using digital technologies during COVID-19 lockdowns, enhanced citizen engagement and revenue assurance in municipalities through smart metering technologies and IoT (Internet of Things) solutions for smart asset management and fleet management.  Our solutions demonstrated that mobile applications are core to the acceleration of Government to Citizen (G2C) digital service delivery. We are delighted to once again have the opportunity to do more together with government.”

Enhancing communication between government and citizens

Digitisation does not only relate to things, but to processes and people. Digital services and platforms such as the Citizen Engagement Platform have proved to be powerful tools in the public sector’s quest to improve and manage service delivery. The platform is designed to automate, enrich and streamline interactions between citizens, government contact centres, field workers and senior officials.

To enable better communication between citizens and the South African Police Service (SAPS), Vodacom launched the MySAPS app. The app enables citizens to search for the nearest police station, submit a tip off and call the crime stop number. The introduction of the app highlights how technology can be used to support national police efforts and connect communities in a collective effort in the fight against crime. Since the launch of the app in 2019, the SAPS has received 6700 tip offs from community members.

In 2019 the Gauteng Department of Health was seeking a way to strengthen the patient-care experience within their facilities. Vodacom Business supported the department’s objective by creating the Mpilo app, a smart and interactive mobile communication platform which enabled users to report waiting times in facilities, safety issues, staff attitudes, and cleanliness of facilities.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the mobile app was further enhanced when the department introduced a new feature to help increase public education and awareness on COVID-19, but more importantly provide a self-screening feature option for patients.

Improved administration 

Within the Buffalo City Metro Municipality (BCMM), legacy infrastructure posed challenges for the municipality regarding water and electricity revenue collection. Manual processes of meter reading and incorrect tariffing were some of the many challenges for a municipality of that size. Vodacom Business’s Smart Electricity Metering solution vastly improved revenue collection within the area, supported bill verification from bulk suppliers such as Eskom and supplied and installed 63 000 meters over a period of three years.

Vodacom Business further helped primary healthcare clinics to eliminate medical stock shortages through medicine monitoring measures. By implementing a Stock Visibility Solution (SVS), the Department of Health (DoH) was able to monitor critical supply chains and compare centrally purchased volumes of medicine that are available on the shelves of dispensaries.

The DoH was also able to monitor stock levels of critical vaccines across the 4 100 clinics across the country. Real-time access to stock level information from medicine dispensaries allows low-stock clinics to be pro-actively replenished and out-of-stock facilities to receive priority attention, ensuring that citizens can access the healthcare they require without delays.

Implementing technology within education

The Gauteng Education Department was using a legacy school admissions system that was plagued with technical issues, resulting in slow admission processing. For the admissions system to operate efficiently and handle the volume of applications, Vodacom needed to upgrade the system and install functionalities that aligned to the legal prescripts.

Six weeks after the project began, Vodacom Business managed to redevelop the eAdmission system to include the latest technologies and provide the best user experience. The system was hosted on Microsoft Azure within the Vodacom Datacenter. Since then, the admissions system has received over 255 000 applications and processed over 1 000 applications per minute during peak times.

Within the Eastern Cape, Vodacom Business aimed to deliver ICT-enabled teaching and learning. Through the contract, the Eastern Cape Department of Education received laptops for all foundation phase teachers, tablets for all school principals and digital solutions which enabled the department to better manage the learning process throughout the province.

The solutions Vodacom Business provided included the School Management System, Vodacom Secure Device Manager and The Citizen Engagement application. Vodacom’s comprehensive and easy-to-use web-based School Management solution captures the daily data requirements that the education department needs for visibility at all their schools.

“Throughout the duration of the RT15 contract, we have demonstrated the value and effectiveness of smart technologies within several different government departments, SOEs and government agencies. We partnered successfully to address multiple challenges government had previously encountered. These digital solutions contributed to inclusive growth, enhanced education and good governance within South Africa, by not only improving efficiency, but also doing it in the most cost-effective way. We’re ready to go further together in the next five years”, adds Mzimba.

DA-run Midvaal gets things done for women

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Media release by John Steenhuisen MP – Leader of the Democratic Alliance

As South Africa commemorates Women’s Day today, there is no better way to celebrate the brave and resilient women of the 1956 march, than to witness how DA-run governments are getting things done for women. South Africa’s women are breadwinners and heads of households, often providing the only form of income to extended families and communities. Providing women with economic empowerment and opportunity is the fastest way to empower our country as a whole, and lift our people out of poverty.

Today, DA Leader, John Steenhuisen visited two beneficiaries of the Sebenza Mbokodo Women’s Fund, a project spearheaded by the DA-led Midvaal Municipality and Executive Mayor Bongani Baloyi which, in partnership with Standard Bank and ABSA, provides interest-free loans to women entrepreneurs in the informal trading sector to launch their businesses, grow local economies, and create jobs and opportunities in their communities.

Our first stop was to Bokamoso Bo Bontle Trading & Projects, started by Lebohang Ramathe. Lebo is a talented and self-taught seamstress who received assistance from the Sebenza Mbokodo Women’s Fund two years ago. The financial assistance enabled her to purchase the necessary machinery to bulk produce school uniforms for neighbouring schools, and bespoke items for private clients.

Bokamoso Bo Bontle now employs several members of Lebo’s community, and has grown into a successful small business and a sustainable form of income for Lebo and her family.

We then visited Dima’s Chicken Livestock, started by Dimakatso Mokoena who received funding from the Sebenza Mbokodo Women’s Fund last year. Dimakatso used the money to launch her small trading business dealing in chicken, homemade atchaar, and eggs, having become a key supplier for her local community.

Under the leadership of Executive Mayor Bongani Baloyi, the DA-run Midvaal Municipality remains the best-run municipality in Gauteng. Meeting with the beneficiaries of the Sebenza Mbokodo Women’s Fund today is proof that even in local municipalities, the DA is getting things done. But more importantly on Women’s Day, these projects are proof that the DA is getting things done for women.

This Women’s Day I am very proud to lead a party that celebrates, empowers, and promotes the women in our society each and every day of the year through projects such as the Sebenza Mbokodo Women’s Fund. South African women will have an opportunity to vote in the upcoming local government elections, and they will have the opportunity to vote for a party that does not just pay lip service to women empowerment, but actually gets it done.

The Sebenza Mbokodo Women’s Fund can be replicated in local municipalities across the country if citizens vote in a capable government under the stewardship of the Democratic Alliance.

Good customer retention tactics translate to brand loyalty and profitability for SMEs

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There is a good reason why the saying goes “first impressions last” and this is particularly important for small businesses. Once they’ve connected with a new customer, businesses should focus on offering high-quality delivery over the long-term.

It begins with a client’s first interaction with businesses or brands and continues throughout the lifetime of the relationship.

According to Tom Stuart, Chief Marketing Officer of SME lender, Lulalend, there are five practical ways in which businesses can improve customer retention: Managing expectations, ensuring top-of-mind awareness, good communication, implementing support measures, and putting in place a rewards program.

Stuart explains that top-of-mind awareness is a key metric in the development of sound retention strategies and will ultimately contribute to profitability potential. “Being top-of-mind isn’t only handy; it’s also necessary. When it comes to communicating with a potential customer, sales professionals have a 50% better probability of converting the opportunity when a brand has a high top-of-mind score. The more well-known the brand, the more likely the public will purchase their product or use their service.”

In the current economic climate, SMEs must build tactics that engage both potential and existing customers consistently and concurrently. “No matter how strong a relationship you’ve built up with a customer, don’t jeopardise the connection by diverting your attention to focus on the next prospect. Maintain meaningful connections with all customers, even after a sale has been made or a project has been completed,” says Stuart.

Managing expectations in a time where consumers can have goods and services delivered in a couple of hours with the click of a button can be a challenge. Checking that your sales collateral, website terms and conditions, customer service commitments and sales team are all on the same page is essential because this guides customers in terms of what they can expect in return for their hard earned spend.
Be honest when things go wrong and act quickly to get things right.

While there are many ways to keep your customers hooked on your business, it’s important to consider the techniques you use to strengthen those relationships. Long-term customers are almost always more profitable and buy more regularly than new ones.

Even if customers are not reaching out, businesses should be proactive in maintaining the relationship. In highlighting the third point to improve customer retention, Stuart says that entrepreneurs should consider using a communication calendar to manage client encounters and create upsell and cross-sell possibilities.

“It’s important to continually make your customers feel recognised and valued through regular and clear communication. It is simple to roll out promotional offers and proactive customer support solutions to stop them from disengaging – all you need is a database and carefully considered content.”

Customer services technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions abound and helps to make accurate customer service automated and sophisticated. It can also make the biggest difference in an SME’s continued success and overall profitability.

The final component to ensure customer retention lies in creating a client loyalty program. Long thought to be complicated and only possible for large consumer brands, it is possible for even the smallest businesses to offer rewards to individuals who have been supporting their brand. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can assist in identifying a business’s most valuable clients and targeted incentives can go a long to making sure someone continues buying with a particular business.

“While there are many ways to keep your customers hooked on your business, it’s important to consider the techniques you use to strengthen those relationships. Long-term customers are almost always more profitable and buy more regularly than new ones.” concludes Stuart.

About Lulalend

Lulalend, South Africa’s first online provider of short-term business funding, provides a fast and transparent lending experience for SMMEs in South Africa. The company understands the funding challenges that local SMMEs face. Their products, driven by proprietary AI technology, are specifically designed to make it easier for small businesses to access vital working capital.

Their mission is to empower businesses and entrepreneurs across South Africa with the capital they need to grow, and they remain committed to helping SMMEs recover from the effects of Covid-19.

 For more information, visit www.lulalend.co.za

4 Ways to improve your business’s cashflow

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Here’s a quick look at what this article will cover:
  1. Invoice quickly
  2. Offer various payment options
  3. Use software to manage your cashflow
  4. Review your operational expenses regularly
Invoice quickly

The faster you invoice your customers, the quicker you’ll get paid. Rather than waiting until the end of each month, send out your invoices as soon as you have rendered a service or delivered goods. Your customers will still have 7, 30, or 60 days (whatever your business terms may be) to pay, but you’ll save yourself valuable time right from the start. With Lulapay, you can invoice your customers & get paid immediately while still offering them payment terms. Find out more about Lulapay here.

If this doesn’t work, you can also send payment reminders to those “late-comers” or simply pick up the phone and call them.

Offer multiple payment options

By offering your customers various ways to pay, including online options such as accepting credit cards, debit cards, or mobile payments, the more likely they are to pay you faster. For example, making use of mobile payments can get you paid on the spot as soon as the job is done. There are plenty of ways of doing this by using services such as YOCO, Zapper, Snapscan, and even Masterpass.

Use software to manage your cashflow

Managing the cash flows in and out of your business can be challenging enough, but dealing with the additional accounting and tax work that comes with it is another task. Consider using a cloud-based accounting system such as Xero & Sage to make managing this easier. More advanced systems come with built-in plugins like project costing, quoting, and inventory management to help alleviate the burden of system administration and automate these processes for you – giving you valuable time to focus on growing your business.

Review your operational expense regularly

Managing your cashflow isn’t only about the money that comes in, it’s also important to reduce the cash going out of the business as much as possible. Take the time to review your expenses and see in which areas you can reduce your operational costs. Avoid spending money on things that aren’t necessary for your business and choose wisely which areas you want to focus on. Make sure you cut costs only where you can afford to and don’t cut back in areas that may harm your business.

Understanding your business’s cashflow will not only help you plan for future growth & development but will also give you great insights into your businesses’ current financial state and how cash is moving within your organisation.

For more information, visit www.lulalend.co.za


Let’s get together to Improve your Cash Flow with our friends at Lulalend. Their latest Business High Five guide is here: The SME Guide to Improving your Cash Flow.

Find out more and download the exclusive guide here.

The SME Guide to Improving your Cash Flow

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Running your own business can be one of the most challenging and rewarding things you ever do. As big
supporters of SMEs, Lulalend is working with a few friends in the business to share some valuable
insights every business owner should know about accounting, customer relations, marketing, legal, HR, tech, and more.

It’s not formal advice, just some practical pointers on running a healthy business. Always make sure
you get the right advice for your situation. That said, whether you operate a courier service or run a
restaurant, we hope the Lulalend Business High Five series helps keep your business on the move and
making some ka-ching!


The SME Guide to Improving your Cash Flow

Useful insights to help you manage and improve your business’s cash flow and increase profits. 

In this guide, SMEs will benefit from insights on the following:
  • The Importance of a Cash Flow Strategy
  • Practical Tips on How to Manage your Cash Flow
  • Technology to Help Manage your Cash Flow in Real-time
  • Sustaining Your Cash Flow Improvements
  • Cash Flow Management Tools

Food security and the vital role of agriculture in the Northern Cape

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Tending pecan nut trees.
Tending pecan nut trees. Credit: Bouwer Nursery

Although the bulk of agricultural activity occurs through large commercial enterprises, there are moves to broaden the sector’s reach and to diversify it. In 2019/20, 744 gardens were established by the provincial government to encourage households to produce their own food and to promote nutritious diets. Garden and poultry packs are regularly distributed to further encourage this trend and to support food security in communities where unemployment is high.

The Fetsa Tlala Food Production programme aims to put one-million hectares of fallow land under grain production. The Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform has support programmes for maize, wheat and vegetable farmers in the Frances Baard, Pixley Ka Seme and Namakwa districts.

Two-year mentoring and training programmes are available for young people interested in taking up farming. At the moment, 80 young graduates are employed on farms or in agro-processing firms and will develop skills in many aspects of the agricultural value chain which will stand them in good stead for a future in the sector.

A programme to empower black farmers supported six farmers in 2020. The Commercialisation of Black Producers Programme targets farming and agro-processing in the expectation that graduates will mentor young people and create employment.

The commercialisation of the goat project which was successfully extended to Namibia has now been further expanded to include Botswana. Small-scale farmers are being given access to market and further expansion is expected.

Long-term thinking underpins the adoption by the provincial government of the Northern Cape Climate Change Adaptation Response Strategy. This allows for a framework to tackle drought and other climate change issues.

Agricultural assets

Occupying 36-million hectares, the Northern Cape is the largest province in the country, almost a third of South Africa’s total land area. Although the province is a predominantly semi-arid region, agriculture is a major component of the economy of the regional economy and the province’s farmers contribute 6.8% to South African agriculture.

Agriculture contributes about R6.8-billion towards the Northern Cape’s provincial GDP of R96-billion. The agricultural sector also plays a vital role in the broader economy of the Northern Cape, employing as it does about 45 000 people. This represents about 16% of employment, a much higher figure than the national figure of 5.5%.

Agricultural development takes place along defined corridors within the province. In the Orange River Valley, especially at Upington, Kakamas and Keimoes, grapes and fruit are cultivated intensively. High-value horticultural products such as table grapes, sultanas and wine grapes, dates, nuts, cotton, fodder and cereal crops are grown along the Orange River.

Wheat, fruit, groundnuts, maize and cotton are grown in the Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme in the vicinity of Hartswater and Jan Kempdorp. The Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme is one of the biggest systems of its kind in the world. Ranging over more than 30 000ha, it has transformed a semi-desert zone into a productive area that sustains cotton, wheat, maize, lucerne, citrus, peanuts, fruit, grapes, olives and pecan nuts.

Vegetables and cereal crops are farmed at the confluence of the Vaal River and the Orange River in the vicinity of Douglas. Of the nearly 40-million 10kg bags of onions produced in South Africa (outside of linked production chains set up by supermarkets), about 10-million 10kg bags come from the Northern Cape.

Wool, mohair, karakul, Karoo lamb, venison, ostrich meat and leather are farmed throughout most of the province. The province is second only to the Eastern Cape in terms of the number of sheep farmed and it is the fourth-largest wool-producing province based on annual sale of producer lots. The Beefmaster abattoir in Kimberley is one of three abattoirs in South Africa to export frozen beef to China. The company processes and packages about 30 000 tons at the abattoir.

Niche markets

Rooibos has not yet made a big dent in the 200 000 tons of tea consumed by Japan every year, but sales grew 7% in 2018 and introducing a new variety to a country of tea aficionados is easier than tackling a nation of coffee drinkers. A total of 2 000 tons were shipped to Japan from South Africa in 2018.

Rooibos is competing in the “Healthy Tea” segment and a popular restaurant chain’s decision to use the tea as a complement to its pork bone broth has helped to promote the product. Brazil is being explored as a potential market.

Recent studies proving that rooibos tea increases antioxidant capacity in human blood are further proof of the beverage’s healthy qualities. The unique climate and soil of the western part of the province support this niche crop. About 6 000 tons of tea is exported to more than 30 countries and domestic consumption is about 8 000 tons. The South African Rooibos Council states that more than 5 000 people are employed in the rooibos industry.

Rooibos ready for export, Northern Cape
Rooibos export volumes are growing. Credit: Rooibos Council.

Another niche product of the Northern Cape is karakul pelt, which is a speciality of the Gordonia district of Upington. This exclusive product is distributed via the capital of Denmark and the Italian fashion capital of Milan. Copenhagen is the site of the two auctions of karakul pelts that are held annually, karakul being a speciality of the Upington district. Agri-company KLK is the only organisation that handles these pelts in South Africa. Glove-makers in Milan are among the international clients to whom farmers of the dorper sheep breed sell the wrinkle-free skins of their sheep, at good prices.

Horse-stud breeding provides yet another exclusive niche. This is a speciality of the area around Colesberg, where the cold evenings and warm days combine to drive out disease and promote strong growth. Among the studs are Henham and Southford, a 900 ha property near the Gariep Dam which once was home to the famous stallion ”Damask”.

Agro-processing

Compared to other types of manufacturing, agro-processing can be scaled up relatively quickly with good financial rewards. It can also be labour-intensive. As such, agro-processing is a key plank in the growth plans of the Northern Cape.

Work has already been done in providing manufacturing facilities for rooibos at Niewoudtville and investments have been made in fisheries and a new vineyard development for groups of people who previously had not had exposure to the grape and wine sector.

The Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform was behind the rooibos tea factory, which now trades as Bokkeveld Rooibos. The factory takes tea from 85 local farmers with the goal of helping to integrate these farmers into the agricultural and agro-processing business chain.

Two areas of interest to assist small-scale farmers are being explored with regard to hemp and crops that can produce liquor. The dry interior of the Northern Cape is suitable for the growing of Agave that provides the source material for tequila and there are several other opportunities. The rapidly changing legislative environment for hemp and marijuana holds potential in textiles and medicine.

Companies

KLK is based in Upington and does much more than karakul pelts. The company’s interests include 19 retail outlets, 12 petrol stations, four Build it franchises and a strong auction division.

KLK runs three abattoirs in Calvinia, Carnarvon and Upington that slaughter lamb and beef carcasses. SA Dorper manages the production and export of dorper skins and the production of cattle hides. GWK is another company with its headquarters in the Northern Cape, in this case the town of Douglas.

Senwes is one of the country’s biggest agri-companies and its Northern Cape area of operation is mostly around the Vaalharts irrigation area, which is close to its headquarters just over the provincial border in North West, at Klerksdorp. Storage and handling of grains and oilseeds are the speciality of Senwes.

OVK controls the large Gariep abattoir at Strydenburg, which has a daily capacity of 1300 sheep, 100 cattle and either 250 ostriches or 750 small game animals. OVK also has trade branches, vehicle dealerships, a finance division and manufacturing facilities for maize meal and wheat meal. Kaap Agri, a Western Cape company, has a significant presence in the Northern Cape and Namibia.

Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa – taking water management to another level

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Nhlanhla Yende, Regional Manufacturing Manager for CCBSA Coastal Region
Nhlanhla Yende

Nhlanhla Yende started his career in 1999 as a metrologist, specialising in fluid flow for air, water and hydrocarbons at the National Metrology Institute of South Africa. He has over 16 years’ experience in Fast Moving Consumer Goods, one of which was spent at Mercedes-Benz working as a Quality Engineer and the balance at CCBSA where he held numerous operational roles in Manufacturing. He is currently responsible for four plants, in Durban, Port Elizabeth and Elgin.


What is the extent of the CCBSA footprint in the Coastal Region?

We have a total of 656 employees in the four manufacturing sites. From these sites, we service KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, and in the Western Cape we supply all Appletiser products and Coca-Cola products in cans packages.

What are the principles of CCBSA’s water policy?

The CCBSA water strategy is made of these pillars: To optimise the use of water within our operations by implementing industry best practices. To achieve a water balance – make the same amount of water used to make our beverages available to the communities in which we operate and to leverage our system expertise and partnerships to enhance and support local governments’ capabilities in our markets.

Please explain your water protection plans.

We have water recovery processes in our production facilities, which allows us to reuse water for non-production related activities, like cleaning. We also have been investing in rainwater harvesting and groundwater initiatives to diversify our sources. To this end, we have two sites which are using at least 10% to 15% of their total water from these alternative sources.

What steps are being taken in the Eastern Cape to reduce water usage?

We have two boreholes in our Port Elizabeth plant, which is helping us to reduce our dependency on surface water. The plant is constantly monitoring the ratio of water used in the production processes for each litre of product to ensure we can eliminate waste. We reuse the water from the production process for sanitation.

Do you treat wastewater?

We constantly monitor the effluent water to ensure we do not cause harm to the environment. In instances where we find that the pH value of the effluent is high, we treat it. We also monitor the levels of dissolved oxygen.

Are there CCBSA water access projects in communities in need?

Yes, through an initiative driven by our Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability team, there are a total of seven groundwater harvesting projects on the go. Five of those projects have been completed and handed over to the communities. Two of the five completed projects are in the Eastern Cape, in Ngcobo and Queenstown.

Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa