YOUNG people, especially graduates, are continuously encouraged by government to pursue entrepreneurial options to curb the high unemployment figures.
Witsie Tshepiso Justice Siane, or “JT” as he is popularly known, has his sights set on becoming his own boss right here on campus. Siane, a 3rd year BCom finance student, owns and runs the tuckshops at Barnato and Jubilee Hall residences.
He says he identified the opportunity of running the tuck shop in Barnato after he moved in and was unimpressed with the poor service the tuck shop offered. “I enquired with the house committee on how I could go about running the tuck shop and they told me to prepare a proposal, and they would decide on who gets the tender to run the tuck shop.”
JT`s tuck-shop acquisitions have not been without controversy. He put in a proposal to acquire the David Webster Hall tuck shop, and got the tender for it. On the day he was unpacking his stock into the Webster tuck shop, three house committee members told him they did not want a Barnato person running their tuck shop. “I didn`t open the tuck shop that day as I waited for the Webster house committee to resolve their problems,” he says.
He said that during the tuck-shop dispute, his car tyres were slashed twice a week for two weeks and he believes it was done by people who did not want him near the Webster tuck shop, which was eventually handed to someone else.
He remains unfazed by the incident and acknowledges that businesses are competitive, even at Wits. “If your business is making money, competitors will arise, so be able to adapt and don`t get comfortable.
The average 3rd year Witsie aims to work for a big corporation but JT says he chose to go on his own after he realised that he could make more money working for himself than for someone else. “I was at the graduate presentation last year where the largest salary offer was R17 500, and I asked myself how much more would I be making for that company.”
This young man has his future mapped out and is working hard to ensure that he builds his business empire.