Distell truck drivers empowered

by | Mar 24, 2018 | News, Wineland

On Saturday, 24 March 2018, 10 truck drivers received 10 trucks worth more than R9 million in total as part of a supply chain empowering initiative established by the Masisizane Fund and Distell Ltd.

Motivated by a shared objective to contribute to employment and support entrepreneurs in South Africa, Masisizane and Distell handed over the trucks at an event hosted by the Masisizane Fund and Distell at the Distell Ltd headquarters in Stellenbosch.

The Masisizane Fund provided the funding (R9 012 331) for the purchase of the vehicles in support of Distell’s Owner Driver (OD) Programme and the Supply Chain Development Ecosystem established between the two partners.

Initially piloted in 1998, the Distell OD Programme is one of the most established in South Africa. Its main aim is to promote entrepreneurship by developing self-employed drivers who can provide an independent service to them.

As part of the partnership, the Masisizane Fund post investment team will work together with the owner drivers to improve their financial education, general business knowledge and provide the essential skills and support to ensure a sustainable and positive future for them.

“Supporting the important SME sector is not just about financing and funding, but also about upliftment, up-skilling and sustainable long-term partnerships and support,” said Zizipho Nyanga, CEO Masisizane Fund.

The Masisizane Fund is an Old Mutual initiative established in 2007 as a non-profit funding company with a mandate to create employment, eradicate poverty and reduce inequality, while promoting economic growth and investor confidence.

The Fund is focused on financing, developing and supporting the SMME sector and plays a key role in the franchise, supply chain development and agri-business sectors.

“It is on days like this, when we see the tangible impact of the work we do to create a legacy and enable positive futures, that makes all the challenges worthwhile,” Nyanga said.

“Supporting SMEs and entrepreneurs is essential for the growth and sustainability of our economy. Through the work Distell does with their OD programme and the Masisizane Funds financial and non-financial support, we are aiding job creation and bringing more people into the mainstream economy, effectively creating a shared value ecosystem.”

The Masisizane Fund is also looking to leverage its capabilities across the broader Old Mutual business to further add value and give support to new entrepreneurs. A key element of the ecosystem creation is the establishment of empowering partnerships with both private development institutions and the public sector.

Nyanga said the partnership demonstrates Old Mutual’s commitment to the Economic Development Department (EDD) and is aligned with the recent agreement between Old Mutual and the Department in supporting empowerment, employment and enterprise supplier development (ESD).

“Masisizane’s contribution to sustainable economic development is helping to change the face of commercial enterprise in South Africa, and we believe that our strong focus on enhancing supply chain ecosystems will continue to drive both business value and social value,” she added.


  • Since the initial R100 million investment to enable the Masisizane Agricultural Flagship Project in 2013, an additional R80 million has been invested in the area (Masisizane Fund financing combined with other leverage funding from strategic partners).
  • A total of 3 411 beneficiaries benefited directly and indirectly through initiative returns and job opportunities created.
  • 102 community members have been exposed to job opportunities.
  • 85 farmers have received training.
  • Approximately 3 950 Ha of land is under production (grain)
  • A mechanisation company (GrainCo) that is 100% black owned initiative is contracted to service the 3 500 ha under production.
  • All crop/commodities have secured markets.

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