Meet the NTHA tavern owners

At your service

Mako’s Shebeen

Owner: Dorah Mako Mpinga

Organisation: NTHA

Location: 2593 Good Hope Street, Simunye Ext 1, Westonaria

This business is always up and down. Sometimes you do well and sometimes you struggle.

How did you get into the tavern trade?

The tavern used to belong to my mom, who passed away in 2002. I took over after she passed on because I had experience from helping her in the tavern and it is our family business and my mom’s legacy.

What challenges do you face in this industry?

This business is always up and down. Sometimes you do well and sometimes you struggle. There is also lots of competition and stock is sometimes expensive.

How has the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown affected your business?

I had to let go of three of my employees because I couldn’t afford to pay them because we couldn’t trade and that was very hard for me. I also ran out of stock and survived on a children’s grant that I was receiving for two of my kids who are still at school. I didn’t apply for any Covid-19 relief money either as I found out about that when it was too late.

Do you have future plans for your tavern?

In the future, I would like to expand my premises and definitely add to my food menu and offer patrons dishes that are delicious but will give them value for their money.

Meisie’s Shebeen

Owner: Nonkosiyamzi Mhluzana

Organisation: NTHA

Location: 3215 Ext 2, Simunye, Westonaria

How did you get into the tavern trade?

I started my tavern many years ago because was unemployed and couldn’t find any work. I started very small and slowly grew from there. Starting this tavern has given me the means to feed my family, send my children to school and spoil them on occasion.

What challenges do you face in this industry?

People like to get drunk and act like fools! That is my main challenge. Luckily, I have my son who assists me in the tavern but I do need to employ security in the near future.

How has the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown affected your business?

I used every last cent that I had, mostly money that was supposed to buy stock, to keep food on the table and visit the clinic for medicines. Being unable to trade in your own business was very scary and unbelievable! I am still struggling to fill up stock for my business and patrons prefer to buy their liquor and consume it at home so it will be a while for things to go back to normal.

Do you have future plans for your tavern?

My tavern is small so I would like to make it bigger to entertain more patrons.