Aspiring commercial poultry farmer Mandisa Gumede used a portion of her Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority (W&RSETA) learnership stipend to open her chicken start-up.
In 2019, when Gumede’s parents could no longer afford to pay for her maritime industry studies, she was unemployed and frustrated.
“My dad found out about a one-year learnership programme with the W&RSETA. I didn’t think twice, I applied,” she says.
Gumede, 29, from Umlazi in Durban, began the programme in August 2020. She saved R500 a month of her R2,950 monthly stipend until December. In January 2021, she was able to start her business.
“I bought about 50 broiler chicks but lost almost all of them. Starting again was difficult, so now I buy 40 to 60 five-week-old birds at a time, grow them for three weeks and sell them. It’s going well and I’m making a profit as I have established customers.”
She says she is grateful for the learnership and the stipend. “Without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am not where I want to be, but I’m on the right path. It wasn’t easy. The learnership helped me in a big way. I’m really grateful,” she says.
Gumede now hopes to grow the business and create jobs for youth. “I’m running the operation with my younger brother. Even though I am running it from home, the aim is to get a bigger space. I just want to get to a point where I can get a plot and scale up,” she says.
The W&RSETA offers education and training development opportunities to help people improve their skills and increase employment opportunities. It mainly offers learning and skills programmes, from NQF Level 1 to management level, through its registered companies.
The Seta also provides bursaries towards wholesale and retail qualifications from NQF Level 5 upwards.
– This article first appeared in GCIS's Vuk'uzenzele