Despite owning 11 fast food outlets in four towns in the Eastern Cape, Sicelo Mntonga still regards himself as an emerging entrepreneur.
In his string of franchise stores the new baby on the block is the Debonairs Pizza store situated at the newly opened Idutywa Mall in Idutywa.
He started the store with a R2-million loan he received from the Eastern Cape Development Cooperation (ecdc). The outlet started operations in December 2016 and employs 21 people.
Mntonga says that he has a long-standing relationship with ECDC which has invested a total of more than R12-million into his ventures over the years. Today, Mntonga employs more than 350 people across the four towns.
”The ECDC made it possible for me to realise my dream and to apply my passion for entrepreneurship. When I started I only had the vision, but had no resources and ECDC effectively came to the rescue. ECDC opened doors for me, provided the needed funds and I benefitted from lucrative opportunities presented by the Debonairs Pizza franchise. They made my dream of personal and skills development a reality,” an animated Mntonga says.
The Mthatha-based businessman boasts a wealthy resume as a restaurateur spanning 13 years which has seen him operating stores in Idutywa, Mthatha and Butterworth while a fourth store is in Kokstad in the province of KwaZulu Natal. His franchises include Debonairs Pizza, Wimpy, Steers and Mugg Bean – all under Famous Brands.
Of the eight Debonairs Pizza restaurants, five are in Mthatha and one in Dutywa, one in Butterworth and