Retang Phaahla and her mother Nondumiso Phaahla are the driving force behind the Setšong Tea Range which is made from indigenous tea products growing in the natural landscapes of rural Limpopo.
The company was started in in 2016 as a result of long efforts of social activism and community work. For many years, Retang and her mother have been driven by the search for socio-economic solutions, which can create jobs, sustainable livelihoods and restore the dignity of marginalised groups of our society. This is how the Setšong tea story began.
The teas that make up the Sešong tea range have been consumed for over five decades by the Bapedi people residing in a small village of Sekhukhune land. These teas form part of the indigenous knowledge systems of this particular rural community and were always known by the community for their exceptional health benefits and refreshing taste. When Retang and her mother discovered these teas, during a community development initiative in Sekhukhune, they identified an opportunity to create a new tea industry as the teas had never been on the market before.
Nondumiso put her community development skills to good use by mobilising, mentoring and training community members to form business cooperatives which would formerly harvest and process these teas.
Retang used the platform to create a viable business model by creating a supply chain which involves value addition and market access. Retang and her mother formed a company which purchases the teas from the cooperatives and adds value to them by blending them into different flavours using natural ingredients.
The response from the market place and the impact that this has had on the community is really incredible, however it has been challenging to introduce a completely new product to the world, the process involves a great deal of consumer education. Customer Reviews
Retang and Nondumiso are optimistic that the growth of this product in the market will result in genuine economic transformation for the rural district of Sekhukhune. We recognise Retang and Nondumiso for their work in the economic transformation of our rural communities, in particular the women of these societies, and for creating a new healthy and nutritious South African product.