June 2024 2nd edition

Pursuing a landscaping dream

Written by: Keneilwe Velaphi


Bonginkosi Hlatshwayo resigned from his job as a landscaper in 2022 to start his own garden design business. 

Soon after, the 30-year-old from eMbalenhle in Secunda, Mpumalanga, started Natty Plantscapers

"I worked at Rothe Plantscapers as a plant scaper. The knowledge I gained there, along with my mom's teachings about plants, inspired me to start my own business,” he said.

Hlatshwayo has a certificate in garden maintenance that he obtained at Rothe Plantscapers in 2020 and is currently studying towards a certificate in garden design at Tshwane Technical Vocational Education and Training College.

In a recent interview, he told Vuk'uzenzele that his business uses agave, golden lilies, barrel bamboo, palm, intelligent cypress, and various types of grass for design, all customised to client preferences.

"Before we plant our design, we first go to the place to see if the place is suitable and for which plants,” he explained. 

In October 2023, he received a R48,000 grant from the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). This money helped him purchase supplies such as stationery, machinery, tools, and personal protective equipment. 

Natty Plantscapers supplies plant designs to schools, restaurants, stadiums, resorts, and homes.

Hlatshwayo, has three part- time workers, and his business has more clients in summer as opposed to other seasons.

"My business went through obstacles whereby most customers did not pay on time. Others did not pay me at all.”

This made Natty Plantscapers suffer financial difficulties as it still needed to pay employees.

Other challenges in the business include not having a car to transport workers and equipment. 

“The transport delays also make it difficult to meet deadlines.” 

Hlatshwayo hopes to find bigger clients for his business so that it can grow and create more jobs.

“I want to expand from landscaping to a nursery so that I can grow my own plants instead of buying them,” concluded Hlatshwayo. 

For more information on Natty Plantscapers contact Hlatshwayo on 076 637 7097. The NYDA can be reached on 0800 58 58 58, e-mail: info@nyda.gov.za or vist www.nyda.gov.za


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