Kwa Mashu is a home to people from different walks of life and most especially people who were relocated from Umkhumbane (Cato Manor) back the 1960’s. When most of the people were relocated they strived to start small business through which they could earn a basic living. Thus the Emahawini business units which are located at the Kwa Mashu shopping centre houses fast growing business that offer services that are rare in modern business areas.
The main businesses that operate from Emahawini are a restaurant that supplies food to most of the people who work within the Kwa Mashu Shopping Centre especially the taxi drivers. With the new developments of the Kwa Mashu Shopping Centre through which new and popular restaurants, the Emahawini traditional restaurant has started suffering but what makes this restaurant unique is that it sells Zulu traditional food which is not available at the giant restaurants. Some of the food that is available from this restaurant is amadombolo, ujeqe, usu, inhloko and many more.
Another fast growing business within Emahawini is Mqadi’s Upholstery this business has been operating within KwaMashu for the past 20 years and it is well-known. It is a 100% black owned business which is currently managed by Mr GS Mqadi who took over from the founder of the business Mr BP Mqadi. The business operated from KwaMashu’s J section until 1998 and then relocated to the KwaMashu shopping centre small business unit, Emahawini.
The Upholstery operates as a leather factory and couch factory. This business is committed to community development in KwaMashu and employs only young people from the surrounding areas who are unemployed. This business is a classical example of how businesses can make a difference in the lives of the people it serves.
The Emahawini fashion designers are very unique in the sense that the designers are mainly focused on traditional fashion. The main focus of these designers is on clothing such as isidwaba, the Zion church uniform and amabheshu which is all traditional clothing. The product is sold and hired to the public.
With the Urban Renewals Program that focuses on all the areas in the focuses on the INK area (Inanda, Ntuzuma and Kwa Mashu), the Emahawini small business unit will also be renovated and extended to accommodate more black owned business.