Mlungisi Fihlani Mngoma has a BSc honours degree in horticulture and currently doing Final year Masters in Horticultural science at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. The blocks manufacturing business was established in 2006 when he was doing grade 12. The business is now able to produce 1500 blocks per day and the turnover also increased since the business was able to deliver it is blocks to the clients. The business expanded to supply building sand to the community and currently owns 2x 8 ton trucks and 1x 10cm3 truck used to deliver blocks and sand to clients. MF Mabhala blocks and sand supplies has created 23 permanent jobs which have di!erent skills to drive the project.
The project is operating under the leadership of a skilled manager who is assisted by a supervisor, 2x Machine operators assisted by 8 general workers, 3x drivers assisted by 8 general workers. MF Mabhala blocks manufacturing equipment namely; small pan mixer (concrete mixer) which can produce bags of cement and a blocks machine that makes six blocks at a time.
Furthermore the business produces vegetables such as green beans, cabbage, and spinach in an area of 250 m2. Most produce was sold to Enterprise iLembe to supply the Schools Nutrition Programme but since that project has ended, all produce is now sold to the community for domestic use. The Business has expanded to 4 hectares of diversified vegetables production with irrigation system and two 8x30 tunnels for producing tomato and purchase a used tractor for ploughing. The business received funding of four 8x30m tunnels, cold storage house and irrigation system in 2020 from KwaZulu-Natal youth fund. This infrastructure is going to make a huge effect in business growth, since the production of tomato in tunnels has increase and the postharvest losses reduced to proper storage.
MF Mabhala Farming (vegetable production) has created 4 permanent job and 15 temporal jobs. The business challenge is to acquire sustainable market share. Our big client was Enterprise ILembe supplying vegetables for school nutritional programme. The business is now faced with a problem due to low sales and high transport cost over and above that, the business had also underwent tough times due to Covid-19 and lockdown. Some produce was not sold due to the lack of market and the planting period had delayed due to the unavailability of seedlings and seeds from the suppliers.