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#JourneyTo100Years: Farmers’ Supply an important part of Benoni’s history

Ronnie’s father, Kusiel Jankelowitz, farmed in the ’50s.

Farmers’ Supply has 109 years of business experience in Benoni under its belt, making the business an important part of Benoni’s history.

The City Times recently visited MD Ronnie Jankelowitz to reminisce on the highlights for the business before it closed its doors in January 2016.

Jankelowitz grew up on a farmer and explained that farming had been a generational business.

“Running a farm is one of the most difficult tasks, as it was always a gamble against the weather.”

Ronnie’s father, Kusiel Jankelowitz, farmed in the ’50s.

Farmers’ Supply was established in 1912 and in 1951 Jankelowitz senior became a shareholder in Farmers’ Supply.

“We knew all our customers by name to ensure they all felt special, and back in the day we would allow them to take items on credit,” said Jankelowitz.

ALSO READ: Farmers’ Supply closes its doors after 104 years 

“This was done because at that time your word was law and you never go back on it.”

In 1971, Kusiel bought out the shareholders of Farmers’ Supply and when his dad died in 1977, Ronnie took the business over.

The business supplied farmers with farming machinery – as Jankelowitz explained, they had once sold ox wagons, windmills and, as the years went by, tractors.

“We were the first company to buy a tractor in 1928 and the first to sell imported machinery from the United States of America.

“As the farmers grew, we ensured we always had the right equipment to supply and because of that we became well known all over South Africa for our farming supplies.”

In 1922, a strike between miners at Modder B led to a shoot-out that left a lot of miners injured.

Farmers’ Supply supplied two trucks to be used as ambulances to transport the injured to the hospital.

Their biggest sale before they closed was in 2011 when they received a tender to supply 11 tractors.

While the main Farmers’ Supply store, which was situated in Prince’s Avenue, closed, they continued trading from a smaller business in New Modder.

Jankelowitz still has an accounts book for Farmers’ Supply, which dates back to the 1950s, in which everything was handwritten.

ALSO READ: New Modder farmers find passion in their work 


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