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Isolezwe empowers people as it grows

Durban's fastest growing daily newspaper, Isolezwe, is in touch with the retail dynamics of South Africa and is empowering people to take advantage of its rapid growth.
Star agent, Thulisile Makhaye with newspaper vendor Moses Shinyange, make it convenient for readers to buy Isolezwe on their way to work.
Star agent, Thulisile Makhaye with newspaper vendor Moses Shinyange, make it convenient for readers to buy Isolezwe on their way to work.
Although distributed through traditional channels, to ensure Isolezwe gets to its readers, vendors are contracted to sell the paper at bus and taxi ranks as well as major street corners.

Thami Makhanya, Publishing Manager at Independent Newspapers KZN told us about his star agent, Thulisile Makhaya. “Thulisile Makhaya has been distributing newspapers since 1991 when she started working for a sub-contractor serving the busy Pinetown, Chesterville and Hammarsdale areas.

“Early in 2005 Thulisile approached me to ask if she could take over an area when the opening became available. So when the contractor resigned I put my neck on the block and suggested that the area be given to Thulisile.

“She was the backbone of both the previous contractors' operations, doing the spade work of the distribution so I was quite happy to give her the opportunity.”

Thulisile commenced as an agent in August 2005. Her day starts at 4.15am when the first copies of Isolezwe are delivered to a corner in Pinetown. She quickly distributes the newspaper to all her vendors to start selling to commuters on their way to work.

Initially she started with eight intersections and over the months Thulisile has opened up additional intersections for newspaper vendors. Presently she has 15 vendors in the greater Pinetown area selling between 1500 and 1700 copies of the Isolezwe every day.

Thami says that Thulisile is the most successful of all street vendors. “She is self-motivated, always does what's required and also looks out for new opportunities. Because of her track record, we are happy to assist.

“When a new street intersection opens up we will subsidise the agent for a period of three months, after which the volume of newspaper should have grown to cover costs.”

Thulisile's goal is to double her sales over the next year so she can purchase a second vehicle which will be driven by her sister who helps in the business.

2 Aug 2007 15:32

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