Entrepreneur’s brush in the right direction
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CAPE TOWN - A local entrepreneur is attempting to address South Africa’s steep unemployment rate by training and upskilling the youth.
Rodney Maduwa, 33, from a small village in the northern parts of the Limpopo province, founded his company, Maduwa Paint World, in 2013, a specialist paint-manufacturing company that supplies paint for commercial and industrial use.
The company started as a small manufacturing plant in Soshanguve, but hard work and determination has seen it transform into a large industrial warehouse in Rosslyn, Pretoria.
Maduwa holds a BSc degree in chemistry and biochemistry and achieved a BSc Honours degree specialising in polymer chemistry and an MSc in paint chemistry.
He earned a nomination for the SA Man of the Year Award in 2018 and was a finalist in the entrepreneurship category.
Maduwa said he has always been committed to creating employment opportunities for others.
According to Statistics SA, the unemployment rate among youth between the ages of 15 and 24 is at 63.2%.
Maduwa has taken it upon himself to provide mentorship and skills training to develop youth and enable them to gain on-the-job experience within the manufacturing and processing of paint products and detergents.
The youth who take part in his programme are from the local communities and villages and are aged between 21 and 35.
While most businesses suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic, Maduwa has been blessed, as his company this year doubled its 2020 annual turnover.
“We have trained and upskilled over 15 painters last year despite the lockdown, all of whom are now employed by the company. We are currently in the process of training another eight young people in the areas of factory manufacturing and paint application,” Maduwa said proudly.
His business employs 35 people in Gauteng and Limpopo and he intends to train at least 50 young people over the next year.
Maduwa believes this is possible as his business is “running very well”.
“Vocational skills are especially important, and we must all work together to make a difference. This is what will help the country combat issues of unemployment,” Maduwa said.
His long-term vision is to build a successful business with a 35% market share, and by 2025 Maduwa hopes to employ 150 young people.