Mapheto rises in the world of print

Lesedi 7 now mov­ing to big­ger, bet­ter premises

Sunday World - - Jobs - By Ng­wako Malatji ng­[email protected]­day­

For­mer Prasa me­dia li­ai­son of­fi­cer turned busi­ness­man Lesedi Mapheto’s print­ing com­pany Lesedi 7 has grown be­yond his ex­pec­ta­tions. The com­pany will move out of its of­fice space in Lyn­d­hurt, north of Joburg, to a big fac­tory it pur­chased in Ben­rose on the out­skirts of the Joburg CBD.

The com­pany has also de­com­mis­sioned its old print­ing ma­chines and bought sta­teof-the-art ones from Germany and Ja­pan to give its com­peti­tors in the main­stream print­ing busi­ness a run for their money.

The ma­chines print mag­a­zines, books, posters, bill­boards and 3D im­ages, and also im­print on glass and wood.

Mapheto, a for­mer tabloid pho­to­jour­nal­ist, con­firmed that his com­pany has grown.

“We have pur­chased a big­ger build­ing which we will be mov­ing into early next year be­cause our com­pany is grow­ing and we need a big­ger space than we have in our cur­rent build­ing. Our staff com­ple­ment has also in­creased from 10 to 33 and I’m happy that I’m be­gin­ning to re­alise my dreams of be­ing a job cre­ator,” he said.

Mapheto said the achieve­ment of his busi­ness was not a walk in the park.

“There were too many thorns and bumps on the jour­ney that I needed to nav­i­gate through. It is very dif­fi­cult to com­pete in this in­dus­try without the sup­port of our gov­ern­ment de­spite the fact that we are 100% black owned. Not that I want to crit­i­cise our gov­ern­ment but de­spite the ca­pac­ity we have, we have not been awarded a sin­gle ten­der, con­test­ing for them for so many years.

“In­stead they give [them to] peo­ple who don’t have ex­pe­ri­ence and ca­pac­ity. Those who won these ten­ders come to us to do the job for them and in most cases at a much cheaper price than they charge the gov­ern­ment. Some clients win ten­ders without cap­i­tal to do the job and ask us to give them credit and then they dis­ap­pear and do not pay us when they get paid by gov­ern­ment.

“And when they win an­other ten­der they don’t come back to us...”

Mapheto said the suc­cess of his com­pany could only be at­trib­uted to the sup­port he re­ceived from the cor­po­rate world.

“We wouldn’t have been where we are to­day if it was not for [pri­vate sec­tor] sup­port.”

Mapheto said though he wasn’t wealthy, he slept peace­fully at night be­cause he was able to put bread on the ta­ble for 33 fam­i­lies.

/ Sup­plied

For­mer Prasa me­dia li­ai­son of­fi­cer turned busi­ness­man Lesedi Mapheto.

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