After graduating from the University of Johannesburg, Bonginkosi decided to open a motor spares shop, on a recommendation from his father and, in 2013, Shongwe Motor Spares and Tyres was born.
Bonginkosi opened his first business, specialising in motor spares, in his home village of Schoemansdal. With a grand vision for his business, Bonginkosi soon expanded into tyre services and opened a second branch in Jeppes Reef. His future plans include further expansion, and in March 2019 he will be opening another store in Boschfontein. He also hopes to expand his business outside Mpumalanga and dreams of his business being recognised on a much bigger scale.
“I want to make it a well-known brand not only in my village or Mpumalanga but across South Africa. I want to compete with established brands like Midas and Tiger Wheel and Tyre, and expand as far as I can. I want my brand to be known even when I’m no longer alive, I want to leave a legacy,” he explains.
Bonginkosi believes that his father was his biggest motivator when it came to growing his business. As well as providing him with a micro-loan, which he used to buy machinery, his father taught him how to manage the business, save his profits and work hard to secure a successful enterprise.
Bonginkosi believes that a turning point for the expansion of his business came when he was accepted into the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme and awarded R200 000 in grant funding for his business. “The grant funding helped me buy a better wheel alignment equipment, a wheel balancer, tyre changer and battery testers and chargers in order to sell and recharge batteries,” he explains.
According to Bonginkosi, the Tholoana Programme assisted me with funding; the programme also taught him how to run a successful business by providing instruction on key topics such as costing and pricing, marketing, public relations, human resources and financial management. The programme also provided him with a business mentor, Ntando Maseko, who was on-hand to provide advice and answer any questions.
“The business workshops are breath-taking,” said Bonginkosi. “I learned that there was a lot more I needed to do in order to manage my business and staff efficiently and effectively. I now have systems in place and I understand the labour laws”.
Since starting the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme, Bonginkosi’s turnover has increased by 145% and his workforce has grown by 40%. The programme was also instrumental in him being able to open his second branch in Jeppes Reef on the border of South Africa and Swaziland. “We are the first motor spares shop people see when they come through the area, so now instead of travelling to Malelane, they come to us,” concludes Bonginkosi.
For more information about Shongwe Motor Spares and Tyres, contact Bonginkosi Shongwe on his email address, firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 082 092 9262.