Zakes Ncanywa was the man behind Paperight’s first ever registration in the Eastern Cape. With ambitions to open Paperight-powered copy shops and internet cafés throughout the rural Eastern Cape, Zakes has been a valuable resource of knowledge about what the residents of the many resource-strapped towns and villages throughout the country’s poorest province need most urgently.
Sensing a half-decent story, I travelled to Zakes’ maternal hometown of Peddie, and spent some time discovering why millions of people throughout the Eastern Cape – and the rest of South Africa, for that matter – have so much trouble finding access to valuable information that most urban dwellers take for granted, as well as discovering what makes one of the Eastern Cape’s most forward-thinking young entrepreneurs tick.
Given that Peddie is in the heart of Ngqushwa, a poor district of 92 000, deep in what is becoming entrenched as South Africa’s poorest province, I was expecting the problems to stem more from a lack of money or jobs than anything else.
But the problems in Peddie are more about infrastructure than they are about personal economics, with mismanagement and a lack of governmental resources exacerbated by layer upon layer of infrastructural deficiency, which are all vividly illustrated by Ncanywa’s fledgling enterprise.
The story of Zakes Ncanywa is now available to read on the Mail & Guardian website right here.