Shell has exciting plans for Nkosikho Mbele - the petrol attendant who went the extra mile

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Nkosikho Mbele assists a customer at his station on the N2. (Screengrab)
Nkosikho Mbele assists a customer at his station on the N2. (Screengrab)

Cape Town petrol attendant Nkosikho Mbele went the extra mile when he helped a customer who forgot her bank card at home. He should prepare to travel many more miles, as Shell has exciting overseas plans for him.

The company told News24 on Tuesday that it had nominated Mbele to represent South Africa at the next Shell Global Service Excellence Awards, which would take place at an international location next year.

He is also expected to travel to Zanzibar next month to be celebrated at their Regional Service Excellence Awards.

"His story will be shared with the Shell global community to inspire others further. We will also donate R500 000 to a charity organisation of his choice to pave [the] way for many more others," it said.

"Shell is very proud of Nkosikho's act of kindness and willingness to go an extra mile in assisting a customer pay for much needed fuel. We believe that this is a true spirit of Ubuntu and a commitment from our people to make our customer’s journey better."

'It's because you did the right thing'

Mbele was overwhelmed and shocked when the company's chairperson in South Africa, Hloniphizwe Mtolo, phoned to congratulate him and give him the news personally.

He had to ask twice whether he was actually going to go to the awards and said someone needed to splash him with water.

"Yes brother, it's because you did the right thing," Mtolo replied with a smile.

At least R460 000 has been donated for Mbele, 28, following his kind act last week.

He paid for Monet van Deventer's petrol from his own pocket when she stopped at a petrol station on the N2 near Makhaza on her way to Cape Town, having realised she had forgotten her bank card.

"He saw my petrol light and looked so worried and stressed," Van Deventer said.

'I didn't care about the money. I saw gratitude'

In a video interview with News24, Mbele said that Van Deventer returned later that day with the R100 he had loaned her, and some chocolate.

"I didn't care about the money. I saw the gratitude in her eyes. I saw that she appreciated what I did. That made me happy," he said.

Some people expressed concern on Twitter that Mbele would not have direct access to the funds. They pointed out that they had donated money on the basis that he would receive it directly into his account.

In response, BackaBuddy indicated that Mbele would have full control of the funds. It said he had asked them to administer the money on his behalf because of safety concerns.

READ: Safety a top priority as funds hit R430 000 for petrol attendant

Mbele said he hadn't taken a decision about the money but will sit with his mother, brother and children to decide on the way forward.

He wants to be his own boss eventually.

"I want to start my own business. I want something that will support me for a lifetime," he said.

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