Social & Community News
28 September 2021

Rustenburg – Young participants in the Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) Bizniz in a Box initiative have not allowed the pandemic to get them down, and have been working hard to create sustainable, growing enterprises contributing to creating jobs and opportunities for their communities.

As South Africa claws its way out of the economic slump, one such operation from Rustenburg is amongst those leading the way in demonstrating the grit and determination it takes to overcome adversity amid great uncertainty and youth unemployment. 

The South African unemployment rate hit a record high of 34.4% in the second quarter as businesses shed staff due to the devastating economic impact of Covid-19, it was also reported that 67% of businesses in the townships were unable to operate at all during lockdown levels 5, 4 and 3. 75% of small businesses experienced a drop in sales.

“The Covid-19 crisis was incredibly challenging for us, and we had to work hard to ensure that even after closing for six months last year, we didn’t completely shut down like so many other businesses,”

says 35-year-old Kelebogile Boikanyo, who runs a Bizniz in a Box in Kanana Village, Rustenburg. Boikanyo employs one full-time employee and runs a convenience store and restaurant.

“We are now bouncing back strongly after closing for six months last year, but it is a slow process, and we have to be patient as people slowly venture out more.”

Bizniz in a Box aims to create an ecosystem of viable micro-businesses offering complementary products and services in township communities, using the spaza shop as the anchor.

Each business operates out of a custom-designed shipping container provided by CCBSA, covering various core needs of the local community, including business centres (internet cafés), car washes, fast-food shops, or mini bakeries.

Piloted in 2015 in the Free State province, as part of the company’s Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP), the initiative was established to make a meaningful and sustainable impact on youth unemployment through the rollout of a high-impact enterprise development programme that enables young people, particularly women, a chance to create a livelihood for themselves and others. 

The programme offers young entrepreneurs an opportunity to learn business skills, particularly those required to grow and run their own small and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs).

“The skills I’ve learned have really empowered me,” Boikanyo says. “In the future, I want to start my own food franchise, which will offer sit-down meals, takeaways, and catered meals.” 

By the end of August 2021, through Bizniz in a Box, CCBSA and its partners had trained more than 749 young women entrepreneurs and helped 375 of them to take their businesses to the next level, creating 185 additional jobs by employing shop assistants.

CCBSA aims to develop 200 viable, successful youth and women entrepreneurs by the end of 2021, creating new hope for young people in townships.

Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) press release extracts 

Kelebogile Boikanyo, who runs a Bizniz in a Box in Kanana Village, Rustenburg. 


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