IDC funding helps Emalahleni recycling firm to expand operations

IDC funding helps Emalahleni recycling firm to expand operations

Emalahleni, Mpumalanga, 12 July 2019: The dream of becoming a leading recycler with a network of branches around Mpumalanga province, while also setting an example to young people, is closer to reality for Amilia Mkhonza and Hercules Moosa who secured financing from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). The duo own Mihula Holdings, a 100% black youth and woman-owned waste recycling company based in Emalahleni that has used the their financing from the IDC to significantly accelerate its growth. Mkhonza and Moosa, who are former colleagues at a defunct recycling business, decided to go into business together after being retrenched. They started out recycling glass using their respective back yards to keep their collectibles.

Says Mkhonza: “As business partners we have complementary skillsets that helped the business grow, using my background in accounting and administration and those of my partner in recycling and operations has put us in a great stead to move our business forward.” “After getting advice that glass was unsafe to keep at a residential site, the National Youth Development Agency helped us to get a yard to keep our recyclables. Moving to a place that had a big enough yard opened up more options for us to add paper, cardboard, and plastics to the streams of waste we collect,” she adds.

The business was registered in February 2018 and has made strides as a new player in the circular economy of waste recycling. The duo has already secured significant off-take agreements from established companies in the paper and packaging sectors. Mihula obtains raw materials from businesses and waste collectors in Emalahleni. There is a strong demand for quality baled paper, cardboard, cans and glass for off-takers based in Gauteng whom the enterprise supplies.

Says Mkhonza: “The prospects for Mihula are excellent. We remain firmly on track to achieve our mission to build an organisation whose purpose resonates with clients and employees, but which also has a sustainable and visible impact on communities around us.” The IDC officially opened an additional office in Mpumalanga, which is based in Emalahleni, in May last year. To date the corporation has approved just under R7-billion in Mpumalanga and based on the current pipeline, it is expected that more significant and impactful investments will be made during this financial year and beyond.

IDC Regional Manager in Mpumalanga, Mashweu Matsiela, says the corporation identified great potential in the Mihula business model. “A key element of our mandate is to invest in young black-owned companies, promoting entrepreneurship through building competitive industries and enterprises based on sound business principles. “It is always a great experience for the IDC to identify young people with ambition and drive. We are confident that Mihula will continue to grow and to expand its impact and recruiting more people. We are excited to be on this journey with Mihula and wish to invite more young people to partner with us so that we can change the economic landscape of our province,” says Matsiela.

Funding from the IDC for equipment and working capital, as well as business support, has had an immediate impact on Mihula’s supply capacity. Mihula grew from lifting nine tons of waste a month to 20 tons over a short period of time. “We are grateful for the support we have received from the IDC and we hope our journey will inspire young people across the country to see that they too can achieve great things,” says Mkhonza.



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