From unemployed graduate to pig farmer

Image: GCIS Vuk’uzenzele.

From unemployed graduate to pig farmer

Zintle James, a 24-year-old pig farmer from Sterkspruit in the Eastern Cape, has embarked on a journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

From unemployed graduate to pig farmer

Image: GCIS Vuk’uzenzele.

Young pig farmer Zintle James (24) is on an inspired journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Originally from Sterkspruit in the Eastern Cape, James began her enterprise in 2020 when her interest was piqued by a post on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

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Speaking to Vuk’uzenzele, James said while her father owned two pigs at the time, she never thought of using them to start a business.

While idling at home during the pandemic, the human resources management graduate was exposed to more information on piggery on social media platforms.Zintle James is making headway in pig farming thanks to the NYDA.

“It was then that I decided to start a focused project. I joined Facebook pages on farming and I bought two more pigs, piglets and feed using my funds.”

Using cash savings she had managed to raise from her internship stint with the Eastern Cape Department of Education, in July 2022 she acquired another male and female pigs.

In November 2022, James was able to scale up her operations because of funding she received from the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). The agency funded James with R45 000.

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Thanks to the funding, she was able to purchase 10 piglets. Today, her operation boasts an impressive 90-pig herd.

“The funding] helped me to buy the commercial breed which meant I would be able to grow my business,” she said.

Outlining her vision for the business, the budding businesswoman said her ultimate goal was to supply commercial clients.

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James currently sustains the business by selling to her local community but has prospects of running her butchery chain store one day.

She urged other youths looking to secure funding from the NYDA to be patient and meticulous with their applications.

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“You don’t need to have connections or bribe someone to get the funding. It doesn’t work like that. As long as you have all the documents in order, you will get the funding. You just need to be patient,” she said.

Written by Sihle Manda for GCIS Vuk’uzenzele.