From security guard to successful pig farmer

Cape Town woman started with just three pigs

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Photo of woman with pigs
To be successful you have to love what you do, says Faure pig farmer Noncedo Khawuleza-Ndzawuse. Photo: Velani Ludidi

Former security guard Noncedo Khawuleza-Ndzawuse started farming three years ago with only three pigs. Today she has 30.

Khawuleza-Ndzawuse says she quit her security guard job in order to earn more money and spend more time with her family.

She was working an 11-hour shift. “It was not healthy for me. I would come back [home] and head straight to bed. I missed important family events, and I could not make time for my kids.”

Khawuleza-Ndzawuse, bought three pigs to start Ithemba Farm in Faure, where she has a shack and a big piece of land. Today, the 41-year-old mother of three has 30 pigs. She sells the pork mostly to vendors of braai meat.

“The business is doing well,” she tells GroundUp.

“I saw an opportunity selling pigs. They grow easily and are not complicated to farm.” Her clients are business people who own tshisanyama, mainly in Mfuleni and Khayelitsha.

“It is better to be your own boss than work for someone else,” she says. She learned about farming from her late grandfather in the Eastern Cape, who used to take her with him to attend to his livestock.

Ndzawuse says she feeds the pigs twice a day. Her challenge, she says, is access to water. There is no water on her plot and she has to fetch water by car from taps several kilometres away. She and her two employees slaughter the animals themselves and take the carcasses to a nearby butchery for slicing.

She makes about R7,000 per pig.

“In order to make money you need to get dirty, and love what you are doing,” says Khawuleza-Ndzawuse.

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TOPICS:  Farming

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Write a letter in response to this article

Letters

Dear Editor

Thanks for a great article. I am in a similar position starting in 2016 with 4 piglets.Today, I have about 50 pigs in total.
I was a former police officer for 27 years and now have a small holding in Voorstekraal near to Genadendal in the Overberg. The only challenge is marketing or selling them for a good price.

I love what I do and talking to them lìke family - they even have human names. If only I can liase with reliable sources for marketing it will help alot. Thank again for sharing this story of success.

Dear Editor

I am much in agreement with Noncedo Khawuleza-Ndzawuse. In order to make money, you need to put in the work and love what you are doing.

Since 2013, I tried to find donors to help me realise my dream of becoming a pig farmer which I never got until today. In 2016 after completing my Bachelors in Education (Adult Education) I got myself a contract job at a local authority which helped me kick start my small pig farm.

I started with 4 pigs and in 2018 I had 30 pigs. Because of job insecurity in the country, I have been up and down which limited my attention to my pigs thus I had to sell all of them. Today I am refuelled to start smart again after reading this article and many others.

Start small and grow with the results. Not everyone will get an opportunity to be funded by the government and other agencies to start their projects.

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