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Mellisa, owner of the Leratong Service Station

Mellisa, owner of the Leratong Service station in Kagiso Township in Johannesburg, South Africa 

Humble beginnings

Mellisa's journey towards success was one of grit and determination. Despite insurmountable odds and a financially tough upbringing, Mellisa is a go getter and did not let life’s challenges prevent her from reaching success.

Mellisa was born in Hammanskraal, a Small Township called Temba, north of Pretoria in South Africa. After matriculating and graduating with a B Comm Degree at Vista University based in Pretoria, she joined Total South Africa.

Realising her own potential

In 2007, Mellisa took a bold step to pursue her dream to operate her own dealership and resigned from her position at Total to participate in the Total South Africa’s Siyakhula Entrepreneurship Development Programme. Siyakhula which means “we are growing” is part of Total’s commitment to transformation through the development of black entrepreneurs and enterprises. Through the initiative, the selected individuals and companies are empowered with the tools they need to develop into medium to large business owners, to establish themselves in their respective markets and expand their networks. The Siyakhula Programme is a component of Total South Africa’s transformation strategy aimed at empowering and uplifting small businesses to entrench our social responsibility commitment and support sustainable development.

“It was made abundantly clear during the Siyakhula Entrepreneurship Development Programme that operating a dealership was tough. It demanded a substantial amount of time. Despite the warning, I continued with the programme and successfully completed it. I did not drop out,” she adds.

Committed to Better Energy

In 2008, upon completion of the Total Retail Entrepreneurship Programme, Mellisa applied for a dealership and a low interest loan from Total South Africa. She was allocated the Leratong Service station in Kagiso Township near Krugersdorp in Johannesburg, South Africa, a dealership which she has run and managed for five years.

“It has been an exciting journey and I have learned a great deal about the petroleum industry and how to optimally run a dealership. In the near future my goal is to purchase more service station sites where I can run and manage other dealerships,” explains Makgotlwe.

Mellisa’s secret to success

“One should not let life’s challenges prevent them from achieving their dreams. Anything is possible if you have a positive mind-set, a can do attitude and a desire to succeed despite the many challenges you may encounter on the road to success,” she concludes.


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"One should not let life's challenges prevent them from achieving their dreams."

Short Resume


2008 to date

Owner of the Leratong Service Station in Kagiso Township



Participated in the Total South Africa Siyakhula Enterpreneurship Development Programme