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Richard Tomes, PPC Cement Sales MD

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Entrepreneurs are considered important catalysts in stimulating growth in global economies and creating much-needed viable jobs.

According to the United Nations University, Entrepreneurs in emerging economies like the BRICS nations have experienced impressive growth by a veritable entrepreneurial revolution.

PPC Ltd, a southern African cement comoany, has recognised the need to help stimulate the local economy in Sekhukhune area in Limpopo and to help empower communities in the area.

The cement supplier has partnered with a local entrepreneur, Eddie Ratsoma, to create an enterprise development initiative known as Ratsoma PPC. This partnership will look to stimulate infrastructure development in the area by increasing the supply of cement in the area.

Ratsoma PPC forms part of one of PPC’s core values, to help better the lives of the local communities in which it operates and to become a responsible corporate in South Africa.

Cement will be stored and supplied in containers in and around Sekhukhune with a warehouse facility that feeds all of the containers. It will also identify willing entrepreneurs in this instance, and provide seed funding, merchandise, marketing material and branding support to start up.

“This particular partnership has been successful and has witnessed Ratsoma become not only a supplier of cement, but an entrepreneur operating in the construction development of larger Limpopo projects such as the construction of shopping malls,” Richard Tomes, Managing Director of cement sales in South Africa for PPC.

“I started the container idea many years ago. It was a huge success but I started to focus on the construction of the Bopedi Shopping Centre in the area and that took up most of my time. However, with construction completed, I decided to approach PPC again to rekindle our relationship and uplift the local community with these Ratsoma PPC containers,” said Ratsoma.

This initiative will not only be rolled out in Limpopo. PPC already has a container in Gauteng and the cement supplier will be looking to expand it even further in the economic capital of South Africa.

Ratsoma- a true South African entrepreneur

Eddie Ratsoma was born in 1953 in Sekhukhune Land, where he also attended primary and secondary schools. Before founding Ratsoma Building Material & Furniture Suppliers in 1983, Ratsoma had a vast experience in various industries with Granor, Railway Distribution Centre, Wanda Furniture, Ellerines Holdings, Hacks, Old Mutual and then finally Anglo Life.

But Ratsoma wanted to realise his dream of uplifting the community he grew up in. This required the skill to bring together different worlds from traditional leaders in the area to bank administrators in the cities. His first shop opened in 1983, Ratsoma Building Material & Furniture Supplies, and was followed by Ratsoma Save City (a grocery retail store) in 1990.

Since 1998, Ratsoma has also been a distributor for PPC cement to nearly 100 businesses in the Limpopo Province. In 1999 he formed a joint venture with MacSteel to establish Semonye Steel. He is furthermore a member of the Rotary Club and also serves on the Sekhukhune Land Chamber of Business’ advisory committee.

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