The irksome process of obtaining a government farm led Zolani Ngcingwana (65) to a small private farm he wanted to purchase.
Ngcingwana knew exactly where he had to go for funding in order to purchase his farm, the livestock and equipment he needed.
Ithala Development Finance Corporation, the provincial development agency in KwaZulu-Natal, assisted him in realizing his dream and he is now an accomplished farmer.
Before he became a farmer, Ngcingwana was in the retail industry. He said moving from retail to the farming industry was an easy transition as farming had always been his passion.
He said: “I just got tired of retail and wanted to fulfill my dream of commercial farming.”
Yellow Star Farm currently affords ten permanent employees and roughly 20 casual staff a living. Ngcingwana is hopeful that his children will soon take an interest in agriculture so that he can prepare them to take over and develop a leading agricultural business when he retires.
Ngcingwana said he appreciated Ithala’s developmental philosophy and the promotion of sustainable growth for previously disadvantaged people in the business sector.
“When you are in a position to lend a helping hand to someone in need, do it without hesitation,” said Ngcingwana.
He recalls the Ithala loan application process as pain-free and that contrary to his expectation that there would be unnecessary red tape, this was not the case.
Ngcingwana encourages current and aspirant business owners in need of financial assistance to visit the provincial bank, especially young people.
Ithala’s principle “Real People, Real Progress” can be seen in the continued support, empowerment and development of ordinary citizens.
The agency’s Business Finance and Properties portfolio has made offerings to support the growth journey of current and aspiring entrepreneurs.