As the media house who is here to uplift our ever-changing community, promoting and showcasing the people and businesses who are at the very heart of Newcastle, is without a question a large focus of the Newcastillian.
However, there are businesses within our community, who often tend to be overlooked. People who have great skill and passion, who work tirelessly to ensure the success of not only their business but also those around them.
At the Suryaville Informal Trade Centre, a small group of businesses find themselves forming a close bond and establishing themselves as a family unit. A far cry from being renowned establishments or belonging to a franchise, these businesses are made up of men and women who are following a dream. Pursuing the ideal of community upliftment, while earning a reliable income.
Anesh Puncham of A.T.P. Engineering
Anesh explains he started his career years ago, doing his apprenticeship at Venco. “When Venco closed down, this was my next option.”
Situated at the Suryaville Informal Trade Centre for nearly two years, Anesh does manufacturing of parts, reconditioning of suspension parts and deals a lot with the engineering sector through his business.
As a small business, how has he found the growth and development of the Suryaville Informal Trade Centre?
“The people here are really building on a good opportunity and we have all become family. While business here is growing slowly, it is definitely growing.”
One of the things that he enjoys about the trade centre, is the promise of growth it holds. “It motivates us in that we have something of our own and we are able to move forward.”
Anil Hariram of Amajuba Enterprize – Sales, Service and Repairs
Before relocating to Newcastle from Durban, Anil worked as an auto mechanic. Now at his business at the Suryaville Informal Settlement, Anil deals with the repairs of machinery from brush cutters to water pumps, as well as electrical, petrol and diesel machinery.
“With 35 years of experience, no job is too big or small for me,” Anil laughs.
Enjoying the challenge his business offers him, Anil explains that as with most businesses, the trade centre sees its fair share of good and bad days. “While my work is predominately seasonal, we are never closed, and we are all here to serve the community.”
He describes the trade centre as a family unit, where the business owners work alongside each other. This creates a vibrant atmosphere where community members can experience the best of supporting local business initiatives.
Hazel Maharaj – Marahaj Motors
Standing proudly outside her establishment, which is a family-driven enterprise, Hazel explains Maharaj Motors does repairs on all types of vehicles and trucks.
“My husband, Mervyn, and my son, Erwin are the mechanics. We do engines and servicing of cars. In fact, we can do anything that needs to be done on a vehicle.”
Situated at the informal trade centre for two years, Hazel says while they do experience quiet days, the informal trade centre is developing steadily. “We get busy on certain days.”
Duran Soobramoney – Print Save
From business cards to quotation and invoice books, to signage and vehicle branding, Duran says Print Save has you covered.
“I have been involved in the printing industry for 15 years, while my dad has been in the industry for many years. One of the joys of being in the industry are the daily challenges and different designs.”
Since first setting up shop at the trade centre, Duran says business has been steadily developing for himself and others. “When we first started, the business was slow. This is mainly due to the fact that people don’t know the services the Suryaville Informal Trade Centre has to offer.”
One of the benefits of the trade centre is, he elaborates, is the high quality of work. “I believe the centre is good for the community, as the businesses here offer lower prices for work that is 100% quality.”
Rosy Ramdharee – Rosy Delights and Kitchen
Not all the businesses cater to the community’s mechanical, engineering and printing needs, as Rosy proves.
For over 20 years, Rosy has dedicated her life to food and the tantalising smell from her small business is captivating.
“I am a single mother and started on a small scale at home, but since moving here a year ago, my business has grown. I do designer biscuits (sweetmeats), catering for events, bulk cooking, savouries, Rotis and fresh food daily.”
With her business growing steadily at the informal trade centre, Rosy says she enjoys every moment at the centre.
“I have a passion for what I do. I love seeing the end product and my smiling customers. My world revolves around what I do. Also, I enjoy meeting different people here at the Suryaville Informal Centre. As for the other business owners, we are one family and we often recommend each other’s services to people who come here.”
Maya Singh – Pure Harmony Spa
As a beauty and health therapist, Maya can offer community members soothing massages, facials, manicures, pedicures and skincare therapy at a fraction of the price of other establishments in town.
“I have been here for a month and I am receiving a lot of positive feedback from the ladies who come to me.”
With her business picking up, offering women a professional service, Maya also sells high-end beauty products to Newcastillians. Ensuring their health and beauty constantly radiates.
Savie (Sadia) Schutte – Sadia’s Cleaning Chemicals
Selling household cleaning detergents, Savie explains that as she is still relativity new to the trade centre, her business started off slow, but it is picking up nicely.
“I enjoy interacting with the public, selling my goods and seeing people leave happy, knowing they have found what they were looking for. With regards to my products, I use it them home, so I have full confidence in it working.”
Explaining that the trade centre’s popularity is growing, Savie encourages the community to visit them.”
“One of the good things about the Suryaville Informal Trade Centre is that it is placed in a convenient location and people can get a feel of the products and services available.”
Michelle Tealo – Eagle Hats and Alterations
Making an array of hats, from beanies to cricket hats, Michelle says the Suryaville Informal Trade Centre has truly opened the doors to a new world for her.
“I initially only made hats on a smaller scale, but since moving here, I saw the need for alterations to clothing. Now, I make the hats as well as do alterations to clothing as well.”
With the centre seeing her able to add services to her business, Michelle says business is truly good and she hopes it develops further so her fellow business owners and herself can grow and make a positive impact on the community.
Kay Beharie – Car Spa
When it comes to service, the Suryaville Informal Settlement has it all. Kay Beharie owns the Car Spa, where community members can have their cars washed and cleaned.
“I used to work for another car wash and when this opportunity came a year and a half ago, I decided to run my own car wash at the Suryaville Informal Settlement. The nice thing about running it is if I put in extra hours, I know I will be able to benefit from it.”
Admitting business was initially slow when she opened, Kay says business is growing with more and more people supporting her.
“The centre is beneficial not only for us who work here though. It is beneficial for the community in that you are getting quality services at affordable prices.”
Privaal Budhoo – Priv’s Go Green Farm
Privaal set up a small vegetable garden at the Suryaville Informal Settlement, allowing Newcastillians to shop for an array of fresh farm produce at affordable prices.
“I have everything from coriander, mint to spinach and beans. One of my most popular products are my oyster mushrooms,” he smiles.
What makes his products special?
“Everything is nice and fresh. If you come to me and tell me what you want, I will pick it then and there. You can’t get fresher than from the ground,” Privaal laughs.
As the centre has seen the respective business owners become family, Privaal says the Suryaville Informal Settlement is truly a community-driven initiative for the people of Newcastle.
Be sure to visit the Suryaville Informal Trade Centre, supporting local small businesses who are determined to do their part in community development.
Being a true Newcastillian starts with caring for our community and all who call it home.