Ntsakisi Khuzwayo's water business keeps growing
The small town of Grootvlei in Pretoria North is well-known for having a prison in its midst and an athletics club producing some of this country's top runners and road running title winners.
But entrepreneur Ntsakisi Khuzwayo has put the town on the map on a different footing with her start-up business Mati Hydro, the producers of health beverages and bottled water.
The small business was established in 2016, with Khuzwayo's brother Nhlamulo Mathebula as co-founder and partner, and now the entity's operational manager.
"I come from a business conscious family. My father owns a piece of land, a family plot. There is also a chicken farm that I have been managing. Mati Hydro's production plant and head office are on the plot," said Khuzwayo.
The young entrepreneur said before registering Mati Hydro, she played around with ideas. She found it feasible to go the water purification route as a borehole was already on the plot.
Born and raised in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria, the 26-year-old's marketing background has come in handy in the establishment of the business. She was also fortunate to have her father help finance her start-up.
"Our first port of call was working with water authorities to give us the go ahead to start purification after all the tests had been done. We acquired knowledge and equipment form the company H20 on how to go about with the purification process."
The bottling, brand sticking and packaging process is done by five full-time workers employed at Mati Hydro. The business employs two other workers specialising in packaging.
Khuzwayo's clients are varied; from private individuals to pubs, restaurants and firms in the Pretoria area.
She also provides companies with bottled water with the business logo on the stickers for differentiation and a personal touch.
Her biggest selling point is the supply of water dispensers to businesses.
Last year, Mati Hydro introduced their two signature flavoured beverages with health benefits, called Kombucha and Water Kefir, containing probiotics and other vitamins and minerals.
"They are basically cultured beverages, the bases differ from rooibos tea to green tea. The ingredients have been used for centuries but have never been commercialised. As the market grows, we are embarking on commercialising the beverages.
Mati Hydro's products are also available at various flee markets as Khuzwayo has partnered with owners of the markets. She also does commercial exhibitions at malls.
"We have a huge presence on Facebook and Instagram. We get feedback in the form of testimonials from clients relating their experiences after using the two beverages."
Last year Khuzwayo applied and was accepted into the SAB Lerumo enterprise and supplier development programme targeting black woman owned small-to-medium enterprises.