Pilane Kwakwa, owner of Summore Market.
Photo: Supplied
Pilane Kwakwa, owner of Summore Market. Photo: Supplied
BVN Market owner, Vusi Ndhlovu, welcomes excited community member, Motlatsi, to the store opening on 20 Dec 2018.
Photo: Supplied
BVN Market owner, Vusi Ndhlovu, welcomes excited community member, Motlatsi, to the store opening on 20 Dec 2018. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN - Three Gauteng-based entrepreneurs have joined the Pick n Pay Market Store Partnership with Independent Traders programme with the opening of their respective market stores. 

These stores will not only offer the community greater convenience, but access to more goods and services at affordable prices, and job opportunities.

The programme also enables local township retailer entrepreneurs to remain independent, but equips them with cutting-edge systems and retailing techniques to create a unique township shopping experience.

BVN Market, Mohlakeng

Self-employed businessman, Vusi Ndhlovu, is proof that if you put your mind to it, anything is possible. His father was a successful retailer who opened a general dealer in the 1960s to serve the Mohlakeng community. When the policy his father had left him matured, Ndhlovu – at the age of 21 – reopened his father’s supermarket in 2003.

Over the years he secured funding to expand his business to include a butchery and café. With a desire to grow further and modernise his store, Ndhlovu sought assistance from the programme.

The new BVN Market, which opened 20 December 2018, has almost doubled in size to 129 sqm and includes a bottle store of 63 sqm. Ndhlovu has also grown his staff complement from six to 16.

Summore Market, Tembisa

Summore Market opened its doors to the Tembisa community on 7 December 2018. 36-year-old owner Pilane Kwakwa has always wanted to own a retail store. 

A qualified mechanical engineer from UCT, Kwakwa held a few corporate roles before quitting in 2010  to start his own start-up and still manages an enterprise resource planning company. Summore Market will be approximately 503 sqm and he has already created employment for 19 people.

Dinny's Market, Sebokeng

Entrepreneur, Johannes Letswalo, opened his store, Dinny's Market, in Sebokeng at the end of November. Letswalo’s love of retail also started at a young age. 

After finishing school, he joined Pick n Pay and worked his way up the ranks to manage his own branch. When visiting a market store part of the programme earlier this year he fell in love with the concept and applied to open his own store.

Dinny's Market currently employs 23 first-time workers. 

A partnership to develop independent township retailers

Through the programme, Pick n Pay and its suppliers fit each store with new refrigeration and IT systems, allowing each store to stock 1 300 lines of edible and non-edible groceries, fresh produce and perishables. Each store also includes a deli, bakery and butchery area. Customers will also have access to services like money transfer, ticketing, airtime and data, bill payments, lottery tickets and prepaid electricity. 

The programme was originally piloted in Gauteng in 2016 and by the end of the year 20 stores will have opened.

Pick n Pay Deputy Chief Executive Richard van Rensburg says: “In every community there are people who are helping their community to achieve success and prosperity. These people are called entrepreneurs. We believe successful businesses help the broader community and with this programme we have the opportunity to work alongside township retailers to either help build or grow their business. 

Extensive mentorship is provided by Pick n Pay to store owners to enhance their business processes and all staff also receive training to advances their skills, such a learning to be butchers and bakers.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE