Car washers in Limpopo’s capital, Polokwane, who have been operating illegally, will soon have the opportunity to run legal businesses. A R1,2 million car wash facility opens later this year as part of a job creation project called Iperekeng Dikwena, recently launched in the capital city. Iperekeng means “work for yourselves.”
“The project is aimed at benefiting the car washers who have been operating illegally,” said municipal spokeswoman Noko Lebea.
The car wash facility, which will be built before December, will be run as a cooperative business.
A 17-member steering committee representing the local taxi association and street vendors has been established to manage the cooperative. Members have received training on how cooperatives work and how to manage them.
The project will not only create jobs and develop business skills, but will also address water losses. Chairman of Limpopo’s local economic development and finance portfolio committee Eddy Maleka, said: “The municipality is currently experiencing water losses due to the illegal activities of the car washers in the city.”
The facility will accommodate 34 vehicles and will be fitted with pre-paid water and electricity meters as well as a recycling water system and storeroom.
Maleka said local people would be hired to build the wash bays.
A taxi driver from Polokwane Taxi Association, Gilbert Matlala, said he would take his taxi to the car wash and also convince others to support the project.
Food vendor Mosima Ramatsoma said she was looking forward to working with the car washers. “I will make sure that my clients wash their cars at this facility while the car washers will refer their customers to me while waiting for their cars to washed.”