Xoliswa Daku


What does your company do?

DAKU (PTY) Ltd, is a 20-year-old privately held entity with subsidiaries in property, law, and energy. The main focus is on property development, facilities, and asset management. Our vision is to develop corridors of excellence, turn small towns into economic hubs, and redevelop underutilized properties for job creation and enterprise growth. We have 26 years of Legal services specializing in governance, transaction advice, township establishment as well as mergers and acquisitions. Daku Energy focuses on the Oil and Gas sector's growth and development.

What is your biggest success?

My greatest achievement has been starting a property portfolio with no income that is now built on a pipeline of 2.1 billion fully as a 100% black woman-owned entity, carrying legal skills with no family or business background. We have recently opened our company subsidiaries that are DAKU Law and DAKU Energy. I am also a multi-award-winning businesswoman who has just branched out my brand to be an international speaker, with plans to branch out Daku to become a globally recognised company. Currently, I am happy to be serving as the Chairperson of the SEDA (Small Enterprise Development Agency) board, and I am currently responsible for the amalgamation of SEDA, SEFA and CBDA to enhance entrepreneurial support and growth in Africa. I am the Deputy Chair for UWC and Executive Chair for the Organisation for Women in International Trade. I have more than 20 institutions over the past 26 years.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

I maintained the establishment of the business through consulting work on infrastructure which I called an annuity to invest in our core, property development. In 2007 I was forced to streamline the services to mainly property solutions only and aligned activities so that I could be respected as a developer and be defined accordingly as some of the services we had were on BEE and Supply Chain. In 2012 new mega projects were born, my ex-husband was now directly involved in the business. Our ethos of running the business were different and in 2014 the growth pains were heavy, the company was full of debts and indeed we got divorced. That was then a new dawn, a new strategy and indeed an evolution of my strength. In 2015 July I evolved the system streamline staff, and moved on. Built a strong pipeline, outsourced construction and focused on working with experienced professionals, hired new teams by 2019. Then came covid, with sites closed, feasibility was the main focus of the business, that became important to get all developments in our books ready, we could not get any relief. And indeed the worst was losing both parents 2 days apart in 2020. By 2021 we again had to retrench and focus on sustainability, reduce debt, and portfolio growth.

Like what you see?

Share on Social Media!