Jan 2022 edition

Turning old geysers into braai stands

Written by Sphelele Ngubane

An innovative entrepreneur is recycling old geysers and turning them into braai stands.Matome Maphala ready to sell his innovative braai stands.

Self-taught welder Matome Maphala (30) from Seshego in Limpopo collects old geysers to make braai stands.

Maphala, who studied electrical engineering and engineering drawing at Zurel Bros SA College in Polokwane and completed his electrical tradesman apprenticeship in 2017, became an accidental entrepreneur while trying to get a job.

“While waiting, I kept myself busy by using my brother’s welding machine to learn how to weld. At the time, there was an old geyser in my parents’ backyard. I had an idea and suggested to my brother that we build a braai stand from the geyser. It came out perfectly,” he explains.

Maphala’s parents were the first to buy a braai stand from him and this encouraged him to go around the neighbourhood looking for old geysers to make more braai stands to sell.

“I buy old geysers, and anyone can sell to me. People have also donated their old geysers to me. What I have learnt from my business is that recycling is important. If we normalise reusing any recyclable material, we will save the environment and have litter-free streets and parks,” he says.

The price of Maphala’s braai stands range between R1 000 and R3 000, depending on the size.

Maphala’s two brothers and a friend work with him, and they sell the braai stands on the streets in Seshego.

While he is focused on welding and growing his business, he encourages people to consider going to a technical and vocational education and training college to learn skills the country has a shortage of.

Now that he has developed a passion for manufacturing, he aims to manufacture braai stands at a high volume to start supplying retailers.

“At the moment, we deliver orders locally, but we are also preparing to courier nationally from 2022. This expansion is exciting, as we will have more work to do,” he says.

 For more information contact Matome Maphala at 082 624 4331

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