PhD student Nomandla Ngcoya, 28, opened a detergents and cosmetics manufacturing plant in Pietermaritzburg. Picture: Supplied.
PhD student Nomandla Ngcoya, 28, opened a detergents and cosmetics manufacturing plant in Pietermaritzburg. Picture: Supplied.

KZN PhD student opens her own detergent and cosmetics manufacturing plant

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Apr 19, 2021

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DURBAN - With R1200 in her pocket and loads of determination, PhD student, Nomandla Ngcoya set about to realise her dream of one day opening her own detergent and cosmetics manufacturing plant.

Yesterday, Ngcoya officially cut the ribbon to her very own facility, which has the capacity to produce 10 000 litres of products daily.

Ngcoya featured in the Mail & Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans (Science and Technology) in 2016.

She is now using her academic research to create products for everyday living.

Nomandla Ngcoya with her mum and grandmother (middle) at the launch. Picture: Supplied

Some of her products have already been snapped up by some Spar outlets in Pietermaritzburg, where her plant is based. D Chem Group already employs 10 people.

Speaking at the opening, Ngcoya said she started by making dish-washing liquid.

"It took me eight months to sell the first 25 litres I made. It was discouraging but I don't give up easily. In that time, I would approach people and they would ask me for a sample. I also had cases where people would ask for the sample on credit and they said they’d pay later if they found that the product was working. In 2017, I lost R17 000 because of credit. My business was not functional for almost three months," she said.

Ngcoya shared how she managed to secure funding and eventually went on to see her dream materialise.

Also speaking at the launch, MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Ravi Pillay, congratulated Ngcoya on her achievement.

MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Ravi Pillay, with Nomandla Ngcoya at the launch. Picture: Supplied

"It is certainly the start of a much brighter future. It is extremely inspiring. We are proud to have young people like her in our society. We command you to complete your PhD and we will hold you to account to that," he said.

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