I live close to the villages of Pniel, Lanquedoc and Kylemore outside Stellenbosch. Now that’s not an area where you find a booklet advertising local services — which is what I really needed when I arrived there. If there was, the small businesses there are probably so small they probably wouldn’t be able to afford the advertising costs. So, I ended up using services in Paarl and Stellenbosch.
Then, when my bakkie needed new front disk pads and I really didn’t feel like trekking into Stellenbosch, leaving the bakkie while the repairs are done and collecting it later. So I asked the security company on Boschendal which seems to know the local community if they knew of anybody.
I was given Doeli’s phone number and… wow… was I in for a surprise, a very pleasant surprise! I called him and he asked if I was at home. He was there 20 minutes later and 30 minutes later my bakkie had its new disk pads fitted. And for a lot less than had I had it done in Stellenbosch.
That’s what I call service!
Doeli is a Nissan-trained mechanic and owned two workshops in Cape Town before heading off to the quieter life in Lanquedoc. So he knows what he’s doing and impressed me in the short time he was here.
The security company know him because he often helps tourists whose cars breaks down while travelling. He fixes them there and then. This is the sort of phone number everybody needs to keep in their phone.
And then two things happened. First, In President Zuma’s State of the Nation address he showed that he — and government — really don’t have a clue on how to drive a growing, inclusive economy. Read his speech again if you need to; and note the repetitive phrase “We seek to..” instead of “We have plans to…” (which he doesn’t even say once) as in “we seek to open up the economy to new players”.
Government has no plans, and most of local government is much the same. Workshops and meetings galore but no action.
The second things that happened was when Malcom Johnson, Pniel’s ward councillor, just ignored an undertaking he had given to me and two of his fellow ward councillors. CapeInfo had offered free directory listings (which we would get sponsored) to deserving small businesses like Doeli’s. Malcolm had given the undertaking to come up with the list of businesses. He didn’t and just ignored his undertaking.
With Stellenbosch Municipality showing that it’s an untrustworthy partner, we had to come up with another plan.
Surely, we thought, there must be established businesses who employ smaller businesses, and are eager to see those businesses grow. If they are prepared to mentor those small businesses, even better.
If you’re interested in sponsoring one or more small businesses, please click here.