Dear iKhokha Entrepreneurs,
We hope that you and your families are safe and unharmed following the events that have plagued our beautiful nation over the last week.
As a KZN based business, we have experienced first-hand the devastation, destruction, violence, and lawlessness that has spread through our communities like wildfire over the last few days.
Our hearts broke as we witnessed the sinister manipulation of a few morally barren and corrupt individuals exploit their influence over parts of our impoverished local communities. Communities that, for the most part, have a highly frustrated younger generation, with sub-par education options, poor service delivery and limited opportunities to attain the basic needs that many of us take for granted. It does not excuse their lawlessness, but it must be considered when we work towards a long-term solution as South Africans.
Knowing first-hand how much emotional sacrifice and hard work goes into building a business and the responsibility that comes with it, we are completely gutted for you.
We have shed tears worrying about the safety of our staff and isolated family members who we could only attempt to help from afar. We watched on helplessly as many businesses and livelihoods were wiped out in a blink of an eye. Knowing first-hand how much emotional sacrifice and hard work goes into building a business and the responsibility that comes with it, we are completely gutted for you.
But in every tragedy, heroes emerge. We have been filled with hope and pride as community members across KZN and Gauteng (including iKhokha staff) banded together to protect their communities at unparalleled speed. The courage and togetherness displayed has transcended all racial, religious, and class divides, as our democracy stood up to the biggest threat encountered since its inception nearly three decades ago.
Communities are now starting to work together to help each other and find solutions irrespective of race, creed, or financial standing. And that, I believe, is at least one triumph that we can take from all this ugliness.
To our iKhokha customers who the looting has impacted, we can only imagine what you are going through. To have your businesses violently taken away from you with no recourse is enough to break an ordinary person’s spirit.
But we know that you are not ordinary people; you are entrepreneurs. You are the everyday heroes of South Africa, the engine room of our economy. May this hardship only further strengthen your resolve. If anyone has the resilience and resourcefulness to rebuild, it’s you.
You are the everyday heroes of South Africa, the engine room of our economy.
As an organisation, we are firmly committed to helping entrepreneurs grow and succeed. We aren’t going anywhere. We promise to pull together and come up with solutions to help because we know better than anyone that we need SMEs to get our economy back on track.
To be as effective as possible during this time, we need to know what we can do to help you recover. While we devise solutions to get you back up and running, please join our Facebook group Rebuild Mzansi. It’s a community of business owners who are working together to rebuild what we’ve lost, and we’d love you to be a part of it.
We need to know what we can do to help you recover.
Hang in there and know that you are not alone. We are with you in spirit and vow to walk with you for each painful step as we rebuild.
Take care and stay safe and remember, we are Stronger Together.
CEO & Co-founder of iKhokha