HE is a young, dynamic and dedicated professional who is highly driven and committed to self-empowerment. He regards himself as an “acute social entrepreneur” who is determined to make a difference in his community.
This is Siyabulela Mandla, who grew up in NU2 Motherwell’s poor environment. However, he told himself that he is going to make a difference in his community.
“Growing up, I was always interested in knowing how the business industry works as I have always been business-minded.
“I used to make small cars and sell them in the streets. I guess that is when I knew that this is where I am heading. and you know growing up in our communities here in Motherwell, there is always that pressure to do well among your peers,” Mandla said.
He has work experience as a machine operator, technician, engineer and an entrepreneur.
This, however, is not all he does with his time. His added responsibilities, include chairman of Motherwell Arts and Culture Organisation, co-founder of Silis Dynamic Trading Solutions, co-founder of 469 group Enterprise and also co-founder of the Motherwell Alive Campaign.
“Through Silis Dynamic Trading Solutions we created a brand called 469. My co-founders and I looked at business opportunities and in 2010, partnered with Urban Renewal.
“We want to develop our own young entrepreneurs. I am not doing this for myself – I want to develop the community that I grew up in,” he said.
The 469 company has opened up two car washes, and in a space of two years they have created about 15 jobs. One of their main goals is to help empower the youth of Motherwell.
“I want these car washers to be able to dream of one day owning their own businesses,” Mandla said.
His work does not only end there. Mandla also has a full-time job working as an engineer. He has a certificate in project management; a diploma in electrical engineering (light current); a post-graduate in programmes, advanced business programmes and a master’s in business administration.
He has won several competitions as well, and last year he was featured in Destiny Men magazine.
Mandla is also the provincial winner of last year’s SAB KickStart competition and the provincial winner of the Seda small business stars competition.
“I always struggle to explain what I do to people because I do a lot of things, especially for my community.
“All these achievements are not for myself alone. I want to create a role model for the youth.”