Meet the people of Spotong

We profile some of the enterprising tavern owners of Gauteng

Martino's place

Owner: Martha Dlamini, a member of the NTHA since 2004, also the secretary of the Thulani branch.

Venue: 34351 Block 11, Hola street, thulani, Doornkop.

Owner: Martha Dlamini, a member of the NTHA since 2004, also the secretary of the Thulani branch.Venue: 34351 Block 11, Hola street, thulani, Doornkop.

How long have you been in business for?

Since 1986, I was still residing in Naledi, I then moved to Mndeni Extension 2 in 1989. It's only in 1994 that I moved here, in my current address. Funny, I was only awarded my permit in 2006.

How are you giving back to the community?

Collectively as NTHA, we have "Christmas in July" where we give our time and goodies (including blankets) to old aged people. NTHA also spearheads a Victim Empowerment campaign which provides health kits to victims of all sorts of abuse or violence.

What meals do your customers most enjoy?

Well, I only serve hot wings and fries. They love them! And every now and again, I also sell pies.

How do you handle a difficult customer?

I talk things through. I remain as calm and collected as I can possibly be.

How do you effectively communicate new specials or special events to your customers?

My establishment has a notice board. I use it as effectively as I possibly can.

Alfred's Place

Venue: 8745 Modjadji Street, Tsakane, Brakpan.

Owner: Lindi Mthimunye. A member of SALTA since 1999 and now Chairperson of Kwa-Tsaduza Association, Lindi is a local supplier of beer. She sells beer in crates as her primary source of income, but also has a side business as a tailor. She tailors the most beautiful blankets.

How long have you been in business for?

Since 1994. It was so hard back in the days, me and my husband were both unemployed, we then saw it fitting to begin this business. We started by selling from a four-roomed house without a licence which we only got later on in 2006.

In what ways are you giving back to the community?

I am an employer. I have about 7 permanent stuff and a few temporary ones. The temps are specifically there to offload crates upon delivery.

Which cigarettes brands have sold well?

Cotleigh.

How do you feel tavern owners can encourage responsible drinking?

Being a member of an association helps. We are taught and encouraged on this a lot. What we learn, we pass onto our consumers. That in turn produces the best results. We take responsibility for encouraging what is right to our consumers.

What meals do you prepare? Which ones do your consumers prefer?

I prepare different meals, from amanqina, kotas to pap and braai meat. "Pap and vleis" as my customers call it is everyone's favourite.

Epalamenteni Tavern

Venue: 5419, Gwaza street, Block 2. Thulani.

Owner: Violet Mangope. A member of NTHA since 2000, also the Treasurer of the Thulani branch.

How long have you been in business for?

Since 1991. It was really not easy back then, my community did not even have electricity, I remember I had to buy a gas refrigerator (laughs). It has really been a journey.

How are you giving back to the community?

As any other community member with capacity, I make myself available to help out at community funerals and have also identifed impoverished families as well as child-headed ones that we help regularly.

What meals do your customers most enjoy?

The traditional "bogobe le mogodu", samp, chakalaka and stews too.

What advice would you give to people who want to start their own business?

I'd really stress that they are mindful of their neighbours if the business is run from home, with any kind of business actually. I also encourage patience and respect for people, young and old, the people are your business.

Which cigarettes brands have sold well?

Well, I only sell Peter Stuyvesant and Cotleigh. My customers prefer Cotleigh.

Freego Liquor & Restaurant

Venue: 383 Bleinheim Street, Ormonde View.

Owner: Vicky Brandt. Her establishment speaks for itself. It has over the years grown from strength to strength. She prides herself with the community support that she has been getting.

How long have you been in business for?

I've been in business since 2005. I was fortunate enough to be granted a permit in the very month that I applied for it in.

In what ways are you giving back to the community?

I am SALTA's Women's League Assistant Chairlady. As a collective, we give back in a form of clothing, footwear, food and toiletry. We've been to both the Orlando and Alexandra hospices.

How do you handle a difficult customer?

Remaining calm and trying to get an understanding of the customer's dissatisfaction is always the best way to get through tense situations.

How do you effectively communicate specials?

My establishment has a notice board. I write up all that I need to communicate. Facebook helps me with effectively promoting my events too.

What for you is the most important factors when hiring stuff?

I look for a good personality. Interviews are very necessary, I am really after strong characters and mindsets. Someone who can withstand pressure.