Three local entrepreneurs that are moving up


The road to becoming a successful entrepreneur is not always glamourous. Behind the scenes is hard work, long working hours, disappointments, frustrations and many other obstacles to overcome.

That is not to say that journey is not exciting – as these entrepreneurs have shown. They remind us that with the right mind-set and drive, you too can succeed!

1. Devereaux Joubert

What’s entrepreneurship without taking huge gambles? While their peers joined the long queues of the job market, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) BCom Rationum - Computer Science and Information Systems graduates, Devereaux Joubert and Mohamed Cassim, decided to forgo 8-5 jobs and launched The Code Group in 2008.

The Code Group is today one of Port Elizabeth’s fast-growing software solution companies. They have grown to fifteen full-time employees and their products and services are sought-after nationally as well as internationally.

Their entrepreneurial skills have not gone unnoticed and have won several business and innovation awards including: the 2014 Top 40 under 40 award from the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber; one of their products was voted as the 2nd most innovative globally in the PWC Disclosure System 2014; appeared in the National Under 35 South African Maverick Award Nomination; and were placed Top 3 in Technology Innovation and Business Without Borders in the Maverick Awards.

Activities this past year

According to Joubert, this year, among various other projects for their clients, they have been focusing on getting about six in-house products market-ready. These products include management systems for various industries such as property, recurring billing, residential and accommodation as well as charities and should be launched before the end of the year.


2. Tim van der Steene

Probably nothing quite says “I’ve made it” like owning a high-performance cruising catamaran decked-out with luxury amenities. Fulfilling such dreams is how Tim van der Steene, the Chief Executive Officer at Tag Yachts, spends his working hours every day.

Tag Yachts was established in March 2007, at St Francis Bay, to focus on developing the next generation of cruising catamarans. The company has since engaged leading catamaran designer, Greg Young, and put together a team of professionals with complimentary talents to ensure it delivers new technologies and techniques with all its catamarans.

The company is currently building the third TAG 60 catamaran, which has been designed to be the ultimate world cruiser. In a partnership with, Young Yacht design, they will be launching several new models in the near future ranging from 30 foot sport catamarans, to a 45ft adventure cruiser and larger custom yachts.

Activities this past year

Cabinet in September approved a recommendation by Transport Minister, Dipuo Peters, to grant Tag Yachts an urgent lease agreement so that it can build its high-end composite catamarans in the Port Elizabeth Harbour - under the Operation Phakisa initiative to establish a composite Boat-Building Cluster in the Eastern Cape.

The facility is expected to start operations by the second quarter of 2016. Besides being a huge economic boost for the Bay, it is expected to create between 400-500 jobs over a period of five years.

Most of the yachts built at the PE Harbour facility will be primarily for export to the United State of America, Europe and the Australasia region. Still, local sailors were also showing great interest.


3. Jaco Serfontein


Jaco Serfontein founded NutriTech, which is dedicated to designing and manufacturing sports nutritional supplements and products for professional athletes and those living active lifestyles, in 2011.

Today, NutriTech has grown tremendously and its Port Elizabeth manufacturing facility has undergone rigorous auditing to receive GMP, ISO22000 and HACCP certification.

Having been actively involved in the supplement industry for more than a decade, Serfontein was recognised in 2011 by the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber as one of the City’s brightest and most ambitious young entrepreneurs in their inaugural Top 40 Under 40 awards.

Following various slight design tweaks on the branding and packaging, the NutriTech brand continues to fill the shelves of retailers and independents nationwide.

Activities this past year

At the beginning of 2015, Serfontein and NutriTech focused their energy on rolling out their new Endurade and NuWay sub-brands. NuWay is a high-energy, 100% oats cereal while Endurade is aimed at assisting endurance athletes with hydration and fuel for their sports.

NutriTech has also increasing their manufacturing and warehousing capacity in 2015 to deal with the increased demand and popularity of the brand, with more exciting products and developments planned for the 2016 season.