Community members, funders and stakeholders gathered to commemorate the launch of Leboko Tyres, a local SMME in Barkly Road Kimberley. This is the first business-in-a-box containerised tyre dealership to launch in the Northern Cape, a concept that has taken off across the country, with over 200 SMME dealers having already launched.

This enterprise is locally owned by Ditebogo Daniel Leboko, who previously traded as a second-hand tyre operator, but struggled to flourish in this market due to the low mark-ups.  He spotted an opportunity when the Dunlop ‘Business in a Container’ launched and looked to the local solar farm, Droogfontein Solar Power, for funding.

“Local small businesses are vital contributors to the health of the Northern Cape’s economy and to the diversity of opportunity in our society. It is these businesses that boost productivity, increase competition and innovation, create employment and revitalises our communities,” explained Zuki Ndlela, Economic Development Officer of Droogfontein Solar Power.

Droogfontein Solar Power is funding the entire container and retail shop, which includes the first stock of new tyres. The solar plant has committed to support for a three year period, in line with its Enterprise Development approach to help building sustainable SMME’s.  Mr Leboko will also receive business mentoring and a chance to grow.

The solar plant believes that Economic Development programmes can help to steer local economies towards a more stable environment, nurture growth and create more jobs within these communities, which is a sure way to help empower other individuals and the surrounding communities.

“The role of small enterprises is seen as the country’s greatest potential to growth, as recently stated by National Government”, added Ndlela.

SMMEs play a key important role in rural South Africa as they are productive drivers of inclusive economic growth and development. According to the Department of Trade and Industry small businesses represent 98% of the total number of companies and employ over half of the country’s labour force.  The sector is so important that the Ministry for Small Business Development was set up some time ago, so that economic opportunities can be unlocked and thus achieve inclusive economic growth and sustainable employment.

Droogfontein Solar Power’s Enterprise Development includes initiatives to assist and accelerate the sustainability of local enterprises by ploughing financial resources into the areas of Kimberley, Riverton, Ritchie and Barkly West areas.