Mashilu Thole is the founder and director of Toro Ya Thole Group. They are in the petroleum industry specialising in petrol service station construction, maintenance and management. They also run a diesel depot, a petrol retail station and they supply diesel.
Toro Ya Thole Group was started out from a desire for Mashilu Thole to offer his skills and expertise in a meaningful way that will create opportunities in the communities that they operate in and since this is a niche space, it was also attractive as there aren’t many black businesses operating in this industry. Coupled with that was the need to build a lasting legacy for his family and to create employment and making a difference in people’s lives.
Mashilu loves running this business because of the challenges it comes with and the ability to think out of the box.
The biggest lessons that Mashilu has learnt on his business journey so far is making sure all the compliance boxes are ticked and having a proper accounting firm on your side.
Mashilu says “From my childhood I never had an idea of working for someone and I always believed that I can achieve what I want to achieve through business.” His love of what he does has kept him going through this tough time. “It’s not easy and COVID-19 made things worse whilst SARS added to our stresses,” says Mashilu Thole.
When asked why South Africans should support small business, this is what Mashilu Thole had to say: “Small businesses are the future of South Africa and meaningful contributors to the country’s economy. So far, we are the highest employers in the country and failure to support us will drive the country deeper into an employment and financial crisis.”