In 2019 seven resourceful Soweto-based women established Mutahad Waste, an Enterprise Development (ED) company at Abraham Kriel Bambanani (AKB).
Their focus: Waste management, recycling, cleaning and agriculture for the upliftment and improvement of their communities.“The name Mutahad means unity and that is exactly what we had in mind when we came together to launch Mutahad Waste with the assistance of AKB,” says Mutahad spokesperson Tsholofelo (Tsholo) Gaechoose “The quality of our environment is vital to the physical and mental well-being of everyone and we wanted to be part of the solution. We live in communities that are poverty stricken, where taking care of our environment is seemingly unimportant but the truth is that we need stimulating environments to stimulate positive minds.
”Tsholo’s success story starts with Abraham Kriel Bambanani. She and her current business partner Isabella Mawela signed up for the Agriculture Programme at AKB’s Emdeni Skills Centre in 2019 and completed its 6 months’ skills programme as well as AKB’s Enterprise Development programme in 2020.“Thereafter,” explains Tsholo, the ED assisted us financially. This allowed us to purchase office and gardening equipment for our newly established company Mutahad. We were also allocated a mentor who we envisage will assist in developing and growing our Agriculture department.
Today Mutahad Waste has a contract with Pikitup; a waste management service provider to the City of Joburg. “We operate in three Soweto sites,” says Tsholo, “Glen Ridge, Ward 135 and Slovoville, Ward 53 where we employ 15 people on each site plus Naledi/Emdeni, Ward 30 where we employ a further 15 people.
All together we have created employment for 45 people.” As their City Parks project is seasonal, these resourceful women wanted to use their “downtime” to upskill in order to further improve lives for their communities. Using the skills they acquired through ABK’s Emdeni Skills Development Centre, they have now started permaculture farming at Zola Higher Primary.
The school made an unused section of its grounds available for this purpose. “We want to create self-sufficient, sustainable vegetable gardens and are looking forward to selling homegrown fresh vegetables to provide better food security once our seedlings have grown,” explains Tsholo.
Mutahad Waste reaches out to the most needy. But the Mutahad team of women are not only growing their own business, they are already looking at ways to give back to their community. Whilst cleaning up in Naledi, the team identified a single unemployed mother of 4, who lives in a house that burnt a year ago. Maria (the mother) and her 4 children survive on a social grant only. Despite her hardships, all her children attend school but she requires assistance with food and clothes and some urgent house repairs. Her most urgent needs are to have her roof fixed and to get an electricity connection.Mutahad Waste is trying to help turn a hopeless situation into a hopeful one and is appealing to potential donors who are in a position to provide the much needed resources to rebuild this family home to make contact. ABK, in the meantime, has already stepped in to provide food parcels to the family.
- Should you wish to donate to Mutahad in support of Maria and her children, please contact Tsholo Gaechose on 0814186785
- Should you wish to support Abraham Kriel Bambanani’s work amongst women and children in underprivileged communities, simply click on this link: https://abrahamkriel.org/how-can-you-help/donation