Nyadi Nkutha, known as Mum Nkutha (42) lives in a village called Bethany in the Drakensberg mountains of KwaZulu-Natal. She is a member of a SaveAct savings group by the name of Palms 23, formed in 2011. Mrs Nkutha was concerned about growing her income and aspired to start a small business involving farming, but could not access sufficient resources to start.
Psalms 23 started with 36 members, but now has 21. Six members are men, and 15 are women. Mum Nkutha has two savings books, one in her name and the other in her daughter’s name. Members buy shares valued at R100 each. Mum Nkutha saves between R300 and R500 every month. At the end of her first year she received her share of the group’s savings and was paid out R12,230 (R7,000 in her name and R5,230 in her daughter’s name).
She used her savings money to buy ceiling boards for her house and managed to fit them in five rooms. She also used the some of the money to refurbish some of her prized antique furniture. “I am very big on saving, and I insisted of getting someone to do the work and pay them.”
When the second savings cycle started in 2013 she continued with her two savings books, saving R300 in each book in the first three months and R500 in both book for the rest of the year.
That year she approached of the local farmers in the village of Poshini near Bergville to rent land to plant sugar beans. Together with a friend, Mrs Maphalala, she secured a loan from Tetla, a micro-finance institution. They used their loan to buy sugar bean seeds, parasite sprays, weed killer and ploughing tools.
When harvest time came they did the work themselves and harvested the beans. With the money they made out of that business they were able to pay off their debt and save some of the profits.
When the next share-out came Mrs Nkutha used the money to start her own piggery business. She stgarted building shaded enclosures for the pigs using bricks, mud, treated poles, and a few bags of cement to make level floors that can be easily cleaned.
Initially she bought six pigs (one male and five females). Two of the five females had piglets and one sow died. She raised 13 piglets and sold them fully grown to a local abattoir.
Mrs Nkutha’s plans for the future are to expand her farming business. She intends to plant maize which she will not only sell but use as pig feed. Her improved confidence is evident in the fact that she also wants to start her own butchery.
“I want some of the mielies to feed my pigs so that I don’t spend money on buying food for them like I am now,” she said. “I want to supply butcheries with pork meat and even open my own butchery here in my location.”
Asked about SaveAct and its impact on her development as a small entrepreneur she said: ‘I am grateful for the work that is done by Save Act as it has really helped me. It is an eye-opener. I am now able to plan for money and start a business with the money that I get at the end of the year. I want to say thank you very much, Save Act. You are a life saver. Thank you.”