By Karabo Ngoepe and Nokunceda Magagula
“We are hoping for competitive prices and quick turnaround when it comes to payments.” These are the hopes local farmers harbour as they rejoice at the latest acquisition of the Inyatsi Group.
Africa’s leading integrated business partner has acquired Eswatini Meat Industries (EMI) and the move has suppliers and workers excited about the future and the opportunities that lie ahead.
Farmer Musa Mngometulu this week told the publication that Inyatsi has shown that its a company that believes in benefiting emaSwati and changing their lives. He said the company’s track record spoke for itself.
“Inyatsi bought Maloma and turned it around to ensure emaSwati continues to have jobs and they are now reaping the financial benefits of the move,” he said.
“They have now bought EMI and we are now being allowed to sell our products to the rest of the world at very competitive prices. We are hoping to see the same rejuvenation that happened at Maloma happening at EMI,” he said.
Mngometulu added that as farmers, they are also looking forward to improved standards from what they were getting from the old EMI management.
“We dont believe that the standards would drop but we believe they will get better. We want to see them improving our situation, particularly the turnaround time when it comes to the payments for our livestock,” he said.
His example of Maloma stems from how the mine has been turned around since being under the Inyatsi Group umbrella. It has managed to become profitable and pay dividends to shareholders and workers have also reap the benefits of its productivity.
In July, workers were given bonuses after yet another successful financial year.
Another farmer, Mlandu Mlotsa said the pricing in the past was not competitive for them. He also echoed Mngometulu’s sentiments regarding the need for improved turnaround time on payments.
“We are hoping that the new owners will treat us better and fast-track our processes and payments. We are really looking forward to working with the Inyatsi Group of companies,” he said.
The hopes the farmer’s harbour are the cornerstone of what the group does. Under the leadership of Executive Chairman, Michelo Shakantu, the group has embarked on an aggressive expansion path with numerous acquisitions in the pipeline.
The expansion has seen the group spread its wings to over 11 countries on the African continent.
The chair says the only way for the organisation to continue growing and keeping up with His Majesty King Mswati III’s vision of turning Eswatini into a first-world country, it has to spread its wings into different sectors.
“In so doing, we also contribute to the upliftment of our people and play an impactful role in the economy. We intend to empower small-scale farmers through growth in output and integration into the whole value chain process,” he said.
“We also want to see growth in export markets as well for eSwatini beef to compete with the rest of the world. We are very proud of the acquisition, it complements our efforts in realising His Majesty King Mswati III’s vision of eSwatini being a first-world country.”
Investment Cluster CEO, Paul Lwiindi said the acquisition was indeed a game changer and the farmers are already starting to see the benefits. He said they increased the number of cattle they buy.
“We are buying more stock from the farmers while offering them fair prices and terms. We have already doubled weekly beef output,” he said.
Workers have also expressed excitement about joining the group’s family. They added that they were looking forward to the growth of the company.
Nombulelo Mhlanga expressed her confidence that this collaboration will usher in a brighter era for EMI. Mhlanga’s enthusiasm is palpable as she looks forward to the positive changes that have already begun to unfold.
“I’m looking forward to the growth,” Mhlanga emphasized, capturing the sentiment of excitement that reverberates among the workforce. This anticipation is rooted in the belief that the union between EMI and the Inyatsi Group holds great promises. The employees envisage the company’s expansion and advancement.
The acquisition of EMI by the Inyatsi Group is not merely a financial transaction; it represents the integration of shared values and goals. The Inyatsi Group’s history of strategic investments, coupled with its commitment to employee well-being and community development excites the workers.