Building a business on sour figs

CapeNature’s SMME Development Programme aims to empower individuals and communities to reach their full potential. Sarah Niemand is one such individual.

Hailing from the small, impoverished fishing village of Buffeljagsbaai, Niemand grew up with a strong connection to her community’s natural surroundings. A permit from CapeNature allows her to harvest the indigenous sour figs growing on the ocean dunes in a nearby protected area from December until February.

By drawing on her heritage and through hard work, she has built up her own business, the Blinkwater Cooperative, making and selling sour fig jam using a traditional recipe passed down by her mother.

She has come a long way from the early days when she had to give away samples of her products to create awareness of her jams and has grown her small business to become a distributor for local shops in Gansbaai and further afield.

She has even been able to employ 10 people, contributing to the welfare of her community and acting as an example of what can be achieved through partnerships and hard work.