Thriving car wash started with one man in a wheelchair

2016-11-18 08:27
Video

WATCH: From washing cars to multimillion rand business owner

2016-11-11 12:10

Watch as we speak to Sithole who now owns a leading motor body repairing business.WATCH

Cape Town – Ayabonga Makalima and Mziyanda Mjayezi met in 2011. It was a difficult time in both their lives.

The two were unemployed and needed to make a living. Makalima had spent years in a wheelchair after being stabbed by robbers on his way to work in Philippi in 2007.

The two friends opened a car wash in the parking lot of a church close to where they lived in Langa, in an area called New Flats. Five years later, they have one of the busiest car wash services in Langa with regular customers, GroundUp reported.

The business is named Mzeewheeler All Purpose Cleaner, a combination of Mjayezi's name and Makalima's nickname – "Wheeler", because of his wheelchair.

'Gained independence' 

Before the stabbing, Makalima worked cleaning and cutting fish in a restaurant. After that incident he survived on a social grant.

"With this car wash I have gained my independence, making my own living and doing things that I didn't think I would be able to do," says Makalima.

Mjayezi worked as a boilermaker for an engineering company. When his contract ended, it was not renewed because he didn't have the necessary qualification.


Ayabonga Makalima and Mziyanda Mjayezi started their car wash business in Langa in 2011. (Thembela Ntongana/GroundUp) 

A growing business

"I was the only one working at home. At that time, I didn't have the money to pay for the [boilermaker] course," says Mjayezi.

It costs R50 to have a car washed, including the inside, at the business. Residents in a block of flats nearby allow Makalima and Mjayezi to connect a vacuum cleaner and a hose for a monthly fee.

On weekends, they sometimes work until 20:00 because of the number of cars to be cleaned. They say they need more space to grow the business.

During church services the car wash has to close. This is a problem during religious holidays such as Easter, when there are church services for four or more days in a row.

The friends began with five employees and now have seven.

"On weekends and holidays, we take schoolchildren, so they can have something to do and make money for themselves instead of getting into trouble," says Makalima.

Business is slow in winter because they do not have shelter when it rains.

"In winter, we can do three to four cars a day, but in summer we are busy. During the week, we can have 15 to 20 cars a day and on weekends even more," he says.

On the busiest days, they wash up to 50 cars and earn approximately R2 500 a day.

Read more on:    cape town  |  entrepreneurs  |  good news

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.