JOHANNESBURG - Nelson Mandela once said no country can really develop unless its citizens are educated, and that education is the great engine of personal development.
These quotes by the the greatest statesman the world has ever known, ring true for an enterprising young woman, who started her own business as means to raise money for university tuition fees.
Florence Nokuzola Mosepele, 27, from Kagiso west of Johannesburg says she started her company, Cleaners on Call, to focus on cleaning services in the dorpie of Krugersdorp in 2009.
Besides wanting to change the face of the multi-billion rand cleaning industry, she says she wanted, through the company, to raise enough money to further her studies and fulfil her long-held dream of becoming a chartered accountant.
“I thought I would be able to raise enough money to go to university because my dad had lost his job so there was no money to send me to university,” she recalls.
Mosepele says what also prompted her to start her company, in which she serves as managing director, is that growing up in a township, there was no domestic in her household so she had to do all the house chores after school. “It quickly raised something in me that we need such domestic services.”
Cleaners on Call offers domestic, commercial and industrial services including the supply of maids, nannies, garden boys, tea-ladies; cleaning on construction sites, factories, warehouses, depots, high window cleaning, and crime scenes, among others.
Their clients include the Institute of South African Municipal Accounting Officers, Veritas, an engineering and project management consultancy, and Pro-Secure security company, among others.
Mosepele says their company stands out from the rest because services are tailor-made for each individual client, and that they do in-house training for their staff, which is backed by “continuous monitoring of progress”.
They also hold monthly meetings attended by senior management; do regular inspection of cleaning undertaken to ensure consistency, and pride themselves in the implementation of the Occupational Health and Safety policies.
Mosepele has since gone back to further her studies, registering at Damelin where she obtained her technical accountant diploma, before advancing to Unisa for her Bcom accounting degree she would be completing “very soon”.
She’s served her accounting articles at De Wet Chartered Accounts, then joined Thebe Investment Corporation, and later Raizcorp, a business incubator.
However, Mosepele says there’s no greater feeling than being your own boss.
“Looking back,” she says, “It’s the best decision that I have ever made in my life, because I’m touching lives. I’m making a difference by creating jobs in the country. Remembers, South Africa has a challenge of job creation.” The country’s unemployment rate is at a staggering 27.7 percent.
“We are a Proudly South African company and one of our focus areas is to empower young people and previously disadvantaged individuals. We give them the opportunity to acquire experience and develop skills and reach their full potential,” says Mosepele, who is not shy to say they are “assisting the economy to grow”.
“From a young age I have been a dreamer, and the vision was beyond myself, to create employment for other young people and excel in what I do. When you work hard, you distinguish yourself from your competition,” she says.
Mosepele, whose cellphone doesn’t stop ringing during an interview with Business Report, says her immediate goals including franchising the business in other provinces, and manufacturing her own cleaning chemicals. “I have other business ventures that I’m busy working on, which I would not like to talk about in detail.”
When asked if they cleaned crime scenes and mortuaries, Mosepele says: “Yes, we have special guys who clean crime scenes. But with regards to mortuaries, we have not done tapped into that market as yet, but we would like to, why not? It’s a billion rand sector.” The funeral industry has a reported value of between R3bn and R5bn per annum.
- BUSINESS REPORT