From the road

Simon's Town (Photo: Chesney Bradshaw)
Simon’s Town (Photo: Chesney Bradshaw)

A young man hitch-hiked from Cape Town to the Eastern Free State to attend a funeral in a rural area. He can’t afford the taxi bus fare because the price has gone up. The rising fuel price is bringing the return of the hitch hiker.

A craft shop in Hanover, a pass-through town in the Karoo, displays crafted furniture, paintings and ornaments – all made with care and quality you’d previously only find in city stores. Even back water crafters have upped their game.

A tobacconist owner is expanding his newly acquired business with a range of gifts. But he doesn’t have a previous customer list or a symbol marketing plan. He’s going to rely on word of mouth.

In the Fish Hoek Valley, two entrepreneurs have started a flame-grilled chicken eatery. Brave guys these trading in the spot where a greengrocer packed it in and before that a pizzeria. But offering low-price chicken in this down market could be brilliant timing.

A winemaker in the Noordhoek Valley has started a night market on Thursdays, attracting so many people that his farm workers are part of a small squad of car attendants directing parking on the mountain side with their flashlights. The market has opened opportunities for at least 20 home-based small businesses selling everything from cuisine and confectionery to fresh flowers.

In a small industrial park in Sun Valley a micro brewery has moved from its humble beginnings in a home garage to industrial premises. As demand increases, the owner already has plans to expand. Sipping the fine golden ale on Friday at the end of the working week, you can taste the sweetness of a real winner.

The policy of a local online classified site that declines the listing of an entrepreneurial book because they don’t allow anything to do with home-based businesses. This in a country and economy where millions depend on enterprise generated from the kitchen table, kitchen oven, backyard and garage.

A two-kilometre stretch of road in De Doorns dotted with road-side sellers standing in the searing heat with boxes of grapes; green, red and black. Business back after months of strife on the farms.

An army of small food and household goods businesses spread along the quayside of the naval base in Simon’s Town. Selling everything from bratwurst for the German tourists, to curried delicacies, boerewors rolls, and coconut koeksisters done Cape Malay style.

When you get out on the road, stop, get out and look around. Demographics are changing, counter trends are emerging and entrepreneurs are seizing opportunities and sharing them.

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