Young mom’s poultry business started with extra R500 child grant flourishes
Johannesburg - Young mother Andile Simelane, 25, has shown resilience in the face of adversity by using the extra R500 in her social grant to start a small poultry business.
Simelane, who comes from KwaNongoma in KwaZulu-Natal, is a final year Public Relations student at Unisa.
She was living with her dad in Durban when the first case of Covid19 was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this year.
When the lockdown was imposed in March, she left Durban for Kwa-Nongoma, where her 4-year-old daughter lives with her grandparents.
“I went to Kwa-Nongoma to spend time with my daughter as the schools were closed,” said Simelane.
As she always wanted to have a side hustle, she was excited when she heard that there would be an increase in government social grants.
“I didn’t know what I’ll do with the money, but the prospect of being able to provide for my daughter made me happy.”
Simelane saved up the extra money and did some research on poultry farming. When she had enough money, she registered her business, Andiey Projects Pty (LTD).
“I used the money from the grant to register the business in June, and saved the rest for what I’ll need. I started with R2 500, and I bought 50 chicks, food, light and other equipment. I was left with nothing, but that’s all going to change,” Simelane said.
It takes 35 to 42 days for the chicks to grow into chickens, and after a month of perseverance and the death of eight of the 50 chicks, Simelane was excited to finally make her first sale this week.
“A lot of people have been helpful in the community and have placed their orders. The chickens are over 30 days old and can be sold. I’m excited about selling and expanding the business,” said Simelane.
She used every resource available to her to make her dream achievable. She uses her grandmother’s rondavel to groom the chickens, and hopes she will be able to get them a chicken coop as the business expands.
When asked what she will do when she graduates, Simelane said she would continue with the business as she knew how difficult it was to get a job.
“I’m already writing my final exams, and I’m going to continue to live in Kwa-Nongoma and provide for my daughter through this business. I know how difficult it is to get a job. And with this pandemic, the economy is not at its best.”
Simelane has always been one to overcome adversity, especially since dealing with her mom’s death in 2011 and having to separate from her daughter in order to complete her studies.
“I have never been able to provide for my daughter as I got pregnant at the age of 21, much to my dad’s dismay. So, the goal was always to finish school and take care of my daughter.
“This extra money has been a silver lining of hope and has helped me provide for my daughter and also spend time with her,” she said.