How three small businesses are being the change we want to see in the world.
Since this edition of the Grapevine is our ‘green’ edition, we looked at some of our local businesses and considered their impact on our environment.
One of the projects of the Local Economic Development unit of the CWDM is the Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) programme for small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) who meet certain requirements to apply for support/funding. The call for proposals is advertised annually at the end of September in the newspapers and on our website.
It is always interesting to see which businesses qualify for funding and this year was no different. Among the hairdressers, small farmers, manufacturing and catering businesses, all of whom are passionate about their enterprises, there were three that caught our attention for this edition.
Mr Carel Jacobs has thousands of employees. He also offers free housing and transport as benefits of the job, and his employees make sure that we have food. Together, Carel and his thousands of bees are saving our planet!
At the age of 61, Carel was all ready for retirement in May 2018. However, he soon found that he was a little bored. While chatting to his friend Jefta Prins, he learned about bees and how they were used in the agricultural sector, and by November 2018 Carel had started his business.
Witzenberg is internationally renowned for its fruit and vegetables and is therefore an excellent area for this kind of business. Carel initially started with 10 hives and things were going well until tragedy struck – the hives were vandalised and all the bees flew away. The season was already in full swing and Carel had no hives to offer his clients. Things were looking dire for his bee business.
Through the SMME support programme, he received funding in July 2023 for a large table saw, which enabled him to manufacture his own hives. This season, Carel and his bees have been back in business and he has 20 hives distributed at farms in the area outside Ceres.
A normal day sees Carel and his hives driving out to a farmer where, after discussion, the hives are placed in the orchard or fields that require pollination. Each hectare requires 20 hives to ensure full coverage. Once placed, Carel goes to his workshop that he rents from the local municipality and continues making his hives. He can make about five a month, but says that he needs 100 to be truly effective. Growing the capital to enable him to build more hives is his greatest challenge, but he remains dedicated and positive.
“I love watching the bees work, and am amazed at how they pollinate each flower while collecting the nectar under their little wings, before returning to their hive.”
Carel’s bees pollinate all kinds of flowers – from peaches and apples to baby marrows and butternuts – each fruit or vegetable is as a result of a hard-working bee!
Separate little box: Carel’s Honey is sold to another small business, Jacobs Jam, that started from a dream and is situated in Ceres!
Contact: Carel Jacobs – 083 489 2860
Izak McClune, saving the planet, one bag at a time!
Izak McClune of Wolseley is a rubbish collector, but he won’t take just any rubbish – his core interest is waste for recycling. Izak started his business in 2021 after learning about recycling and the benefits it holds for the environment.
Izak’s business has grown over the last two years and he and his two employees now collect plastic, carton/boxes and tins from businesses, schools and farms in Wolseley, Saron and Gouda.
On an average day, Izak and his team manage to collect about two full bakkie loads of recyclable material. They sort at the point of collection, and then package the waste for delivery to the recycling plant in PA Hamlet.
Izak explains that he has big dreams for his business, and that he is saving towards buying his own second-hand baler that will cost in the region of R60 000. At this stage, he and his team have to flatten the materials by hand before taking it to the collection point, which takes a lot of time and is not as effective. Through the CWDM’s funding programme he was able to buy a trailer that is helping him save on petrol costs as he can load more per trip.
When asked about challenges, Izak said, “Like all businesses I worry about cash flow and how to do more. I would like to be able to employ more people. I have a passion for what I do – it’s not just about making sure that garbage is collected. I like knowing that what I collect will go back through the process and be used again. I like to keep our community clean.”
Izak McClune – 083 360 6199
Creating treasures from waste
The world’s natural resources are finite. We all need to do what we can today to protect our natural resources for tomorrow.
“Nothing should be wasted; nothing should be thrown away,” motivated Chantel Syfers of CTC Engineering Supplies in Paarl, who finds innovative ways of reusing the offcuts of the material used in her business. Through these projects she aims to minimise waste and limit the contribution of her business to landfill sites.
Founded by Chantel in 2019, CTC Engineering Supplies provides engineering consumables to a niche market. The materials they use daily are wood, HTP, acrylic and aluminium. Chantel was not oblivious to the amount of waste generated after she had done the required cutting and started to wonder how she could make use of these odd leftover pieces. Her waste-to-treasures projects, starting with earrings from the smallest pieces of offcuts, have now expanded to wooden toys, leather wallets and many other trinkets.
As was the case with so many businesses during the pandemic, Chantel was forced to adapt. She added an upholstery service to her business, realised another source of offcuts and started a micro-sideline called CTC Creations. This leg of her business creates bespoke items on order, based on the clients’ unique ideas, which are personalised with laser engraving and cut from predominately waste material including wood, leather and acrylics.
Material that would otherwise have ended up on the landfill site and contributed to air and water pollution, has now been recreated into hair clips, coasters, key rings, wallets, bracelets, bookmarks, wall clocks, cake toppers and many other trinkets and décor items.
By recycling her offcuts, the environment benefits through the conservation of natural resources and the prevention of pollution that is produced when a raw material is used to make a new product. Chantel also contributes to the economic growth of our communities through job creation. CTC Creations has enabled her to employ two people. Gilmore Siebritz does the upholstery and leather work, and Don-Leigh Abrahams assists with administration and assembly. Toymaker Johan Basson has also been taken under her wing after he lost his own workshop in a fire. CTC Creations gives him space and material so that he can continue making wooden toys from her offcuts. And if all that isn’t enough, Chantel has a programme through which unemployed ladies in Paarl and Montagu become resellers, allowing them to generate an income as well.
Chantel Syfers, a mother of two, is growing her businesses, creating jobs and sustaining the environment for future generations, all by creating treasure (from what would have been waste) through the simple act of recycling.
CTC Engineering Supplies / CTC Creations
Corner of Donkervliet and Vosmaar Street, Unit 21, Paarl 7646
079 163 1487 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook – CTC Creations
We applaud SMMEs for making a difference during these tough times and trust they will all prosper and continue to grow so that they create jobs for others and contribute to the economic health of the Cape Winelands.