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Isaac Mbatha - Dedication pays off

Isaac Mbatha’s journey to success proves that dedication pays off. Mbatha, the CEO of Sky Tents, was one of ten Black Industrialists recognised at an awards ceremony held at the Sandton International Convention Centre in March 2024. The awards ceremony formed part of the 2nd Black Industrialists and Exporters Conference.

Held under the theme Black Industrialists-Catalysing Economic Growth and Jobs, the awards, were aimed at recognising the contribution of Black Industrialists towards driving economic growth, social transformation and in advancing inclusive entrepreneurship in the South African economy. More than 200 entries were received across a range of industry sectors.

The awards were presented by President Cyril Ramaphosa who in his keynote address at the conference said: “At the heart of every successful industrialist lies a spirit of innovation and creativity. Whether it is in technology, manufacturing, agriculture or services, they have shown that excellence knows no bounds and that Africa is a continent brimming with untapped potential and ingenuity.”

Mbatha is no stranger to award ceremonies as his endeavours have previously been recognised. In addition to this award, he was recognised by the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list in 2019. In 2022, he won the Standard Bank KZN Top Business Entrepreneur award for resilience and in 2023 the Standard Bank Client of the Year award in the SME category.

Building on two decades of combined experience, Sky Tents has expanded from it Pinetown head office to include nine branches across South Africa and the company employs around 60 people.

While Mbatha is delighted to be recognised for his efforts, he believes that he can achieve more. He explained, “Every level is a new ball game, a new figure. I feel like currently where I am, I’m just touching the surface of manufacturing and what can be done.”

He added, “I think my purpose now in life is to continue to grow an incredible company. I would like to become a better leader for my staff, clients, and suppliers. I would like to encourage people and show that it is possible to achieve in life. People say it’s hard or you need capital or whatever, but you’ve got to start somewhere. My purpose is forcibly pushing on, making people grow and looking for a better future.”

In his closing comments, President Ramaphosa said, “I congratulate all the Black Industrialists being honoured today for their outstanding contributions to our economy and society. Your resilience,
innovation and vision inspire us all to reach greater heights and build a brighter future for generations to come.”

With a dynamic entrepreneur such as Mbatha at the helm, there is no doubt that the company will continue to grow and develop for many years to come.

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