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Ex Prisoner Happy To See His Business Strive

An ex Prisoner, Michael Dlamini’s dream to start a fast-food restaurant is slowly becoming a reality as he witnesses his small fast food stall grow.

Dlamini cannot believe that life has given him a second chance in Plettenberg Bay.

Being arrested for 16 years for armed robbery in Cape Town has taught Dlamini life lessons and motivated him to change

“Life in Pollsmoor Prison was no joke. I learnt a lot and I have no desire to go back to the life of crime,” 

“When I came to stay with my wife at Plettenberg Bay in 2019 my dream was to start a business but I had to get a job first as a chef or a waiter,” said Dlamini.

However, jobs were hard to find and in 2020 things became worse due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and lockdown restrictions.

Businesses started to close down, people got retrenched and I lost all hope in finding a job,” said Michael Dlamini.

He received help from the family members from Johannesburg with money to start up his Business.

“They assisted with R2000 and I used the cash to buy ingredients and started to build the small shack I am using as my kitchen.” he said 

According to stats SA, 8,1% of respondents reported that they lost their jobs or had to close their businesses and 1,4% became unemployed.

According to the report, almost nine in ten (89,5%) respondents who were employed before the national lockdown remained employed during the lockdown.

Section 28 (1) b of the constitution of the Republic of South Africa states that everyone has the right to have access to sufficient food and water.

Dlamini started his business using a Gas stove and one pot, making only R200 a day.

He now has deep fryers, a microwave, and an oven stove making R800 a day. He has employed Eva Ndlovu at his Green House Shisanyama.

“If it wasn’t for Dlamini and his wife employing me I don’t know where I would be with my family,” said Ndlovu.

Ndlovu stays with her child and boyfriend who is unemployed and is doing piece jobs.

She used to benefit from seasonal work in Plettenberg Bay during holidays but since Covid 19 hit restaurants in Plettenberg Bay were closed and some never recovered.

According to stats SA, the South African economy recorded its fourth consecutive quarter of growth, expanding by 1,2% in the second quarter of 2021 (April–June).

This followed a revised 10% rise in the real gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter (January–March).

Despite the gains made over the last four quarters, the economy is 1,4% smaller than what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the country on level one, and people vaccinating Dlamini hopes that his business will pick up and his dream of becoming a fast food restaurant will soon be realised.

By Siphokazi Mnyobe

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