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Child support grant finances startup

Pumla Gobelo (38) from Dutywa in the Eastern Cape has become an entrepreneur, thanks to the assistance she received from government through the child support grant.

In 2011, Gobelo used the child support grant she was receiving for her daughter to start a business selling chicken livers and hot dogs in Dutywa town.

The child support grant is a government initiative that financially supports unemployed parents. The grant is administered via the South African Social Security Agency and pays out a monthly stipend of R46Pumla Gobelo has turn her life around and is now the owner of Mbuks Catering Services.0 a month for a child.

 “I started to sell in the streets of Dutywa in 2011. I began with a capital of R350 at the time, from the government child support grant. I sold hot dogs and chicken livers,” she says.

Department of Social Development (DSD) spokesperson Nomfundo Xulu-Lentsoane says DSD does not prescribe what beneficiaries must do with their grant. "We encourage beneficiaries who use the grant to be sustainable," says Xulu-Lentsoane.

Overcoming abuse and addiction

Gobelo says when she was in high school, she was sexually abused by her school teacher and she took to drugs to ease the pain.

“I kept the abuse to myself for years. I was also physically abused by the father of my child. During that time, I even thought of committing suicide,” says Gobelo.

One day she decided to make make a better life for herself and child. “I decided to sober up and start a new life and a business,” she says.

 With money made from the business, Gobelo managed to take care of her child and still had enough money to grow her business.

In 2020, she posted on Facebook that she wanted to expand her business by running a mobile kitchen. “The response from my Facebook friends, some of them my customers, was overwhelming. They donated a mobile kitchen for my business.”

She named her business Mbuks Catering Services. 

 Gobelo’s business now operates from Butterworth and she sells about 50 plates of food a day. She also runs a catering business on the side for events.

For more information on applying for the child support grant, call 0800 601 011. 

If you are a survivor of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and need assistance, contact the GBV Command Centre at 0800 428 428. 

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