Nqabayensimbi Poultry Co-op
Fakazile Mkhize is a clear-minded, determined businesswoman with a sunny disposition and cheeky dimples when she smiles. She has a 15-year-old daughter, Nosipho, and when I enquire about a husband, she shakes her head. No husband, I check? She confirms this is so. “And no stress,” she adds.
Fakazile is the chairperson of the Nqabayensimbi Poultry Co-operative in Gamalakhe, Port Shepstone. The co-operative started in 2002 with 30 chickens in a small mud room that was about 18 m². Start-up capital of R50 was provided by each founding co-op member. Ten years later, the co-op has a joining fee of R500 per member and consists of ten members, all neatly kitted out in orange T-shirts emblazoned with the name and slogan of their business, “Fresh and Good”.
Currently their business is based in a single broiler house with three separate rooms capable of housing 600 chicks. Every two weeks the co-op purchases 200 day-old chicks at R5 each, and raises them over a six-week period. Thereafter the chickens are taken to market and sold live for about R45 each.
It’s a simple business principle based on supply and demand, and demand is high. They’ve expanded their business and their recently completed second broiler house can house 800 birds. Now they’re just awaiting certification and approval from the Department of Agriculture.
Chickens are big business in Africa and as a micro enterprise a poultry co-operative is ideally suited to support income generation and job creation. The Old Mutual Foundation invested R200 000 into the Nqabayensimbi Poultry Co-operative in a joint venture with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, towards the construction of a second broiler house.