Through its hard fought deals with Massmart and Absa, which raised R9.8 million in partnership made up of an R8.2m loan provided by Absa Enterprise Development, Massmart has acted as guarantor for 50 percent of the loan and has in addition issued a R1.6m grant to Lethabo Milling.
Chief executive Xolani Ndzaba said he and his partners “saw the milling industry as an opportunity as maize meal was a highly consumed staple food in South Africa”.
The milling operations are based from an existing mill in Ventersburg, Free State, which he and his partners owned.
Lethabo is a Sotho word simply meaning ‘joy’.
Raised in what were then the dusty streets of Emdeni- a stone throw-away from Protea Glen, Ndzaba says they will increase their work force from seven to 40 in the next six months.
According to Ndzaba, Massmart wants about 10 000 tons from us per annum, but we produce about 20 000 tons for our other customers.
Lethabo Milling will also supply United National Breweries with some maize meal.
The product that will compete against the likes of Ace, Iwisa, White Star and Inyala will be available at Makro and Masscash stores from end of July 2014.
What a joy you’ve brought to the masses!