As part of a week of programming on CNN International, In the Making: South Africa and its host Eleni Giokos examines how individuals are overcoming technological and social boundaries to innovate across the country.
In Durban, CNN meets Ntuthuko Shezi, the founder of Livestock Wealth. The concept is designed to make farming more accessible and possible for almost anyone by utilising smartphones. Described as ‘crowd-farming’ – a play on crowd-funding – Livestock Wealth allows multiple people to put money together to lease a cattle farm.
The company connects investors with farmers that require funding by using cattle as a form of investment. Investors have a choice of buying a portion, a whole or a pregnant cow and then Livestock Wealth takes care of it at a farm that it leases. After six months or a year, the cow’s meat or its calf is sold and the investor then gets a percentage of that money.
“Crowd farming, which is, one farm one manager, one herd, but different owners of cows in the herd.” Shezi explains to CNN. “The cows are people’s money, and you wouldn’t give your money to an amateur.”
Since being founded in 2014, Livestock Wealth claims to have paid out almost $500,000 and has 1,500 customers – 30% of which are women. The concept originated after Shezi experienced the difficulties of entering farming first-hand. “I tried to buy a farm, but I would go view farms, but they were just too expensive… My goal in life is really to see more and more people being financially free.”
In the Making: South Africa also profiles Brewsters Craft, a company looking to break into the male-dominated brewing industry.
Demand for craft beer has doubled since 2014 and is expected to grow 3% a year until 2024. Giokos speaks to Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela, who is South Africa’s first black female brewmaster, on how she’s looking to tap into this growth.
Nxusani-Mawela tells the programme she required an 8-million-rand investment, but her facility can now produce up to 20,000 litres a month, despite only running at 50% capacity. However, her ability to brew has caught the eye of the biggest beer player in the country – South African Breweries.
“For me, initially it was star struck moment where you’re like: ‘Oh my God, this big giant is coming to the mere mortal’. But working with the guys, with the team, and their marketing team actually was quite fun.”
Now Nxusani-Mawela works with a range of craft brewers across the country, despite the cost of production remaining high and squeezing margins. However, CNN hears this competitive environment is only driving on her plans to scale. “My five-year plan is obviously to grow capacity, grow the brewery.” Nxusani-Mawela tells Giokos, “As you can see, the plan is to become the leader within the contract manufacturing of beverages as a whole.”