Contact Information
Project sponsor name and title:                                                     Toni Burton
Main contact phone number:                                                         +27 (0) 21 783 05 13
Main contact email:                                                                        info@zizamele.co.za
Preferred meeting location during the week:                                 Stand F75, The Watershed at the V&A Waterfront

Company Information
Company name:                                                                           Zizamele Ceramics
Company sector/ industry:                                                           Manufacturing and Crafts
Year of establishment:                                                                 2008
Company website:                                                                       https://zizamele.co.za/
Number of employees:                                                                8

Brief company overview:
Zizamele Ceramics, founded by Toni Burton, is a Cape Town-based social enterprise employing local women to design and produce signature ranges of ceramic vases and bowls. These are sold online, wholesale and retail (from a store based in the tourist hub at the Watershed). All of Zizamele’s products are handmade and handprinted by their small team of award- winning potters.

Project Information

Project title: Develop Zizamele’s business model to encompass new products and target markets.

Overall project description:

Having enjoyed considerable success over the past few years, Toni is looking to achieve an even higher level of sustainability as she approaches retirement. This can include supporting her with succession planning and streamlining operations to enable scaling, but also implementing various IT solutions to the current business systems.  Eg. Using an App for stock control or assess the role AI could play in the business

Your mentor: Nthakoana Maema



Project Focus Area 1: Succession Planning and Business Skills

  • Define a succession planning framework
  • Assess current skills gap
  • Define potential recruitment approaches
  • Identify skills enhancing opportunities for existing staff
  • Creating an operations manual with all dimensions / materials / responsibilities, ... etc (useful if selling the business)

Supporting resources:

Toni Burton: "It would be helpful if students could travel to our factory in the Deep South to meet the makers of the products.  We could have one of our “sessions” here where I detail the production process.  Students can interview the Zizamele artists and I can show them the order books and systems we use for our wholesale orders.

It would be possible then to track one product from raw materials – finished glazed item – packaged – freighted overseas or domestically.

I use Xero accounting where  all the customers are on a data base.  All products are on Shopify but there is no  real data base of wholesale products.

I have to admit that a lot of information is held in my head.  This is disasterous for succession planning."



Project Focus Area 2: Business Expansion and Operational Efficiency

  • Evaluate opportunities to scale business model
  • Identify income-generating potential of alternative products e.g. textile range and assess financial viability of these
  • Analyse and reduce cost of high overheads, which is currently leading to lower wholesale prices which deters potential clients
  • Optimise online presence and sales through Shopify, Google, and SWO.

Supporting resources:

Toni Burton: "The Zizamele bookkeeper could assist with spreadsheets iro suppliers, material  costs. She has already prepared the Profit/Loss up until January end. She also manages the payroll, UIF and PAYE for all staff so we have excellent records on salaries and commissions that staff earn as incentives."