At the helm of Ncedisa, is Managing Director, Mkonto Mntwini; an optimistic young leader with a distinguished career in the hospitality, transportation, and agriculture industry.
The second eldest of 4 children from his father, he was born and raised by a working-class couple in Peddie and matriculated from Adelaide Gymnasium.
His thirst for knowledge led him to complete his NDP Travel and Tourism Management, B Tech in Business Administration (BBA), Masters in Business Administration (MBA), and he is currently a PhD candidate at the Nelson Mandela University (NMU).
Mkonto focuses on understanding the client’s unique needs and the importance of service delivery; his MBA research project dealt with the factors promoting and or inhibiting sustainable business operating enterprises in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. He firmly believes that job creation empowers people and to empower society as a whole a space should be provided for every citizen to be part of the economy.
It has been said, that many great business ideas originate when creative entrepreneurs recognise the necessity to find solutions to recurring problems. Ncedisa similarly came to being out of necessity when Mkonto was operating a transport service for farmers under Star of Azania and realised there was a necessity to help manage the relationship between farmer and farmworkers.
He noted that a more efficient staff transport solution and less absenteeism of farmworkers after each fortnight was required. This was when the idea to augment the farmer’s production capacity by providing efficient transport services for workers and building teams of committed and reliable workers came about.
Ncedisa Agriculture has since expanded industry offerings to ease logistics and various processes between farmworkers and farmers. This platform has further provided Ncedisa with an opportunity to work towards alleviating poverty through sustainable agriculture initiatives with a guarantee to all clients that they will offer industry-leading products and services in a fair, consistent and non-discriminatory manner.
As Ncedisa grew and became more involved in providing labour resources for the agriculture community, they realised that during peak season, many came in from neighbouring provinces. When workers who are parents and role models in the family are forced to work away from home for long periods at a time, it brings with it a variety of social ills.
In an endeavour to address the issue of parents and breadwinners being away from their families for an extended period, Ncedisa built up a labour force from surrounding communities. Thus not only allowed working parents to return home after each work day but also uplifted the local communities by providing employment opportunities.
At Ncedisa, the team understands the unique needs and interests of the agricultural sector and, therefore, the success in assisting farming communities to improve access to resources and increase productivity has been evident through increased yields.
The last peak season proved remarkably successful as over 600 farmworkers benefited by being part of the Ncedisa workforce and farmer’s productions remained stable because Ncedisa is committed to limiting absenteeism by maintaining a 90% plus staff capacity per day.
In this instance, success is not only measured in Rands and hectares but also in terms of how one man can impact many lives. Fondly referred to by workers as Mlungu, is a testament that Mkonto is able to build a cohesive link between farmers and farmworkers.
This respect is given to him by workers who are thankful for the job opportunities he has provided alongside the efficient manner in which the work environment and pay systems are managed. Simultaneously, farmers have mutual respect for Mkonto as a businessman because of his authentic mannerisms and commitment to achieve deliverables.
The main objective for Ncedisa is to continue to deliver tailor-made solutions to the agricultural sector that will optimise a sustainable income for farmers while creating rewarding experiences for the workforce.
With this in mind and Mkonto leading the way, future business entails growing the Ncedisa footprint within the Eastern Cape and going national when the 2020/21 Western Cape Citrus season commences.
Personal development and continuous growth are fundamental towards my purpose which ultimately is to bring about positive change in my sphere of influence. This is change in the form of creating opportunities for other people to grow themselves on an economic, social and spiritual level.
I consider myself a perpetual student that is alive to the truth that there is a lesson to be learnt even from the youngest of my children. Further, that people are valuable above all else and that the dignity of every man must be promoted and preserved. I believe that hard work pays off, and I continue to nurse a morally upright and virtuous posture.