DURBAN – Former Inanda teacher Bajabulile Bhengu started out working in the tourism industry as a part-time tour guide but she loved it so much that she eventually left her job to open her own small business.
Bhengu, owner of SBRM Tours, decided to explore opportunities in tourism and initially approached Durban Tourism in 2006 when the organisation was seeking tour operators but it was only a few years later that she took the leap into business.
“When we won the bid for the 2010 World Cup Soccer I discovered that there was a business opportunity in tourism,” Bhengu said.
“Durban Tourism assisted and trained me to be a tour guide and after that it became very easy for me to work in the tourism space. It was just part-time at first,” Bhengu said.
When her part-time opportunities in tour guiding grew she eventually decided to quit her teaching job at Sophunja Primary School to work full time in her small home-based business. She said SA Tourism and Tourism KZN assisted her immensely with the incubation and development of her small business.
Today her business owns four small tour vehicles, including a 22-seater, and employs two people full time and three or four temporary staff during the busy holiday seasons.
She takes international tourists on guided trips around the province to the battlefields and beyond.
“In five years I would like to see my business owning at least one coach, that’s my dream right now because if you own your own resources you can control everything, especially the quality of your services,” Bhengu said.