by Mariaan Christian

Healthy possibilities

Entrepreneur opens medicine delivery service

Bursting with ideas, Sizwe Nzima delivers medicine to the bedridden in Khayelitsha
Sizwe Nzima

A 21-year-old Khayelitsha entrepreneur is single-handedly on his way to unclogging major overcrowding at local public health facilities without costing the state a cent.

In fact, his venture is saving the economy thousands of lost man-hours.

Ilitha Park resident, Sizwe Nzima’s Iyeza Express is a small business that picks up chronic medication from local clinics and delivers them by bicycle to the doorsteps of Khayelitsha residents.

This simple solution to a long-standing problem not only saves time and money for his clients, but creates a source of income for his family and jobs for young men who have few skills.

The oldest of five siblings raised by their grandmother, Nzima read a newspaper article about clinics struggling to cope with patients queuing for hours to pick up their chronic medication.

He had been aware of non-profit charity services that collected medicine on behalf of bed-ridden patients, but it was when he realised that by far the majority of the people in the clinic queues were able-bodied but frustrated working folk who were wasting valuable work hours and money in queues, that the vision of a sustainable business formed in his mind.

These were people who would happily pay for affordable delivery of their medicine, allowing them to save their sick leave – if they get any – for days when they are really ill.

Nzima’s newly formed Iyeza Express signed up dozens of clients in its first few weeks and currently collects from Michael Mapongwane Hospital and the Site B District Hospital.

It is early days yet, says Nzima. The community still needs to build up trust in his service, and he is working hard to get official sanction from the authorities at Khayelitsha clinics.

Nzima has a diploma in paralegal studies, and honed his business idea in a six-month intensive business training course at the Raymond Ackerman Academy, and is currently studying for a B Com through Unisa.

Among other activities, he will form part of a panel discussion about business training at the youth entrepreneurship conference. 

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