Fast food king re­ceived a siz­zling start from ECDC

Vuk'uzenzele - - General - Siya Miti

The Eastern Cape Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (ECDC) has beenin­stru­men­tal in help­ing an en­tre­pre­neur tuck into the fast food in­dus­try with gusto.

The R12 mil­lion in fi­nanc­ing that Mthatha-based en­tre­pre­neur Sicelo Mn­tonga re­ceived from the pro­vin­cial eco­nomic devel­op­ment agency has en­abled him open a num­ber of Fa­mous Brands restau­rants over the past 13 years.

He cur­rently op­er­ates sev­eral De­bonairs Pizza, Wimpy, Steers and Mugg & Bean fran­chises.

Of the eight De­bonairs Pizza restau­rants he op­er­ates, five are in Mthatha, one in Du­tywa, one is in But­ter­worth and one in Kok­stad. Mn­tonga is part­nered with long-time friend Onke Mankahla in three of the Mthatha fran­chises.

Mn­tonga and Mankahla’s jour­ney with the ECDC started in 2009 when they sought fi­nanc­ing to buy two ex­ist­ing De­bonairs out­lets in Mthatha. The ECDC fi­nanced R2.2-mil­lion of the R2.8 mil­lion needed.

To­day, Mn­tonga em­ploys over 350 peo­ple which, given his pas­sion for ed­u­ca­tion and per­sonal devel­op­ment, is highly sat­is­fy­ing for him. Noth­ing pleases him more than see­ing peo­ple grow, es­pe­cially when they have had to over­come the chal­lenge of poverty.

“There are a num­ber of peo­ple who only had a Grade 12 ed­u­ca­tion when em­ployed. Through our as­sis­tance, they have man­aged to fur­ther their stud­ies and they now have ter­tiary qual­i­fi­ca­tions ei­ther in the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try or other fields. That makes us happy,” he said.

Prior to be­com­ing an en­tre­pre­neur, Mn­tonga worked as an ac­coun­tant. He com­pleted his ar­ti­cles at Deloitte in KwaZulu-Natal.

ECDC head of devel­op­ment fi­nance and busi­ness sup­port Tan­deka Rozani said the sup­port given to Mn­tonga is in line with its com­mit­ment to ex­tend its reach to de­serv­ing en­trepreneurs in all cor­ners of the prov­ince.

“This is par­tic­u­larly true for those en­trepreneurs based in un­der­served and largely ru­ral areas. Loan fund­ing helps busi­nesses in th­ese areas to grow, stim­u­lates lo­cal eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity and fa­cil­i­tates job cre­ation,” said Rozani.

In the 2016/17 fi­nan­cial year, the ECDC dis­bursed R168 mil­lion to 263 en­ter­prises, ben­e­fit­ting 118 youth-owned busi­nesses.

AN EASTERN Cape gov­ern­ment fund­ing agency en­abled a young­ster to em­brace his pas­sion for en­trepreneur­ship.

Sicelo Mn­tonga the fran­chise king cre­at­ing jobs in the Eastern Cape.

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