By Buziwe Nocuze
Siyabulela Bangani got so tired of begging that he opened a car wash.
“I took care of myself until I lost my job as a cleaner at a hotel during Covid-19. Then I came close to getting involved with bad people doing bad things,” the 29-year-old told Scrolla.Africa.
Early last year, when he went to the local Khayelitsha Mall, he saw that there were many dirty cars.
“People don’t like driving around in dirty cars, so the idea came to me to wash their cars while they do their shopping at the mall,” he said.
“It wasn’t easy. I saw that car owners didn’t trust me and I don’t blame them. In Cape Town, anything can happen.”
But still, in his first attempt back in early 2022 he managed to get five customers.
“At first, customers didn’t understand how I would manage at the mall, but after washing their cars, they trusted me,” he said.
“Most of my customers were worried about their belongings, but I assured them that I would not take anything that doesn’t belong to me.”
He said he decided to only charge R20 for his service.
“I understand that the economy is tight. I cannot charge more because people might go and wash their cars somewhere else,” he said.
“I keep pushing even though friends try to discourage me. I tell them that washing cars is stress-free. I’m not looking over my shoulder, and I don’t get scared when someone calls my name.”
Bangani arrives at the mall at 7am and leaves when the mall closes. With the money he makes he manages to support his family.
One of the customers, Sibongile Ngeni, supports Bangani because he does not break the law.
“I always give him something extra to motivate him. What he is doing shows that there are other ways to survive rather than robbing people of their valuables,” he said.
Pictured above: Siyabulela Bangani in Khayelitsha Mall washing a customer’s car. After losing his job, he started washing cars for people while they did their groceries, charging R20
Image source: Buziwe Nocuze