The public launch of Hermanus Siyakha was held at the Youth Café at the RDP Centre in Zwelihle on Thursday 14 March. The more than 40 people who attended were informed about Hermanus Siyakha’s mission of “transforming communities by building relationships and growing businesses.”

This initiative rests on two pillars: the first is the provision of interest-free loans through the non-profit company that has been formed to assist in developing micro-enterprises operating in poor communities.

The second is just as important: the assistance provided through careful mentorship to enable the borrowers to manage and grow their enterprises successfully.

The response to this launch and the articles in the local press have resulted in a steady stream of applications for interest-free loans from small business owners. A typical project is a request for a loan from a resident of Zwelihle who has lived in Hermanus for the past 19 years. She has five children and two grandchildren for whom she is responsible. She is requesting a loan of R6 000 to purchase a freezer and stock of pork and processed sausages that she sells to existing customers from her home.

“If I was able to purchase a deep freeze I could keep greater quantities of stock, expand my business, increase sales and reduce the frequency of trips to Cape Town to purchase stock.”

We are now appealing to the public to respond by loaning to the Hermanus Siyakha projects of their choice; these loan contributions in turn fund the loans to the specific projects. These projects are showcased on the Hermanus Siyakha website ( which is also where members of the public can indicate their financial commitment to the project of their choice.

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