July 2020

Whilst most South African businesses have been allowed to re-open during the current lockdown level 3, the increased economic activity isn’t necessarily enough to ensure their survival. One such entrepreneur, Mr Edgar Ndebele, owner of ‘Move-On-Up’, says that his fledgling enterprise has been very badly affected by the COVID lockdown and that the new health and safety regulations implemented, will have a huge impact on the cost of operating.

‘Move-On-Up’ is one of three SMME’s that is receiving assistance, to ensure its survival during this tough period, as part of the Droogfontein Solar Power’s Economic Development programme. The funding will ensure that this small business can keep paying salaries and wages, as employee’s jobs were under threat without the additional cash injection.

“The lockdown impacted us negatively as the regulations prohibited the transporting of our recyclable goods, as these products carry a high risk status, hence were not been able to sell for nearly three months and now we need to carry the additional costs relating to COVID-19 infection prevention protocols,” said Ndebele, who also explained that the negative cash flow has put the business at risk and that the company was on the brink of losing its employees.

This 100% black owned youth enterprise is based in Kimberley and trades in the collection, separation and recovery of waste, achieved through established relationships with recycling partners. It is one of the SMME’s that form part of the Droogfontein Solar Power’s enterprise initiatives, which is now receiving additional support and funding, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ndebele was particularly concerned about the cost of COVID PPE compliance and other Standard Operating Practices under lockdown level three, as staff have been permitted to return to site and require protection. So, whilst they are pleased to have resumed trading and selling recyclables across the border into Gauteng, the cost could have been crippling without the support from the solar plant.

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