Durban - Business mogul and regional leader of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), Lizwi Maphumulo, popularly known as “Slow Poison’’, from Mthwalume north of Durban, has announced the launch of a R1 million fund: the Lizwi Maphumulo Foundation.
The foundation will serve the people of uMzumbe and the greater KZN South Coast.
The 55-year-old celebrated his birthday this past weekend in style with the launch of the foundation, which was attended by his business associates within the taxi industry and other business sectors, including those in petroleum, energy, mining, property, retail and entertainment.
Slindile Maphumulo, spokesperson for the Lizwi Maphumulo Foundation, said the foundation was established to grow and reflect on the hard work done by the businessman: “We are just here to honour and celebrate the life that Maphumulo has lived and that we are able to have something which will be a legacy and which his future generations will look forward to. As a family, we saw it fitting that we take a percentage of profits from the transport business and use it to further drive socio-economic development in uMzumbe and beyond.
“As the Maphumulo family, we want to help continue with the work that he is most passionate about, which is ensuring the socio-economic emancipation of poor and marginalised people. There are several projects which are done individually, including ensuring that first-year students and scholars are taken to school. This will now be done under the foundation,’’ she said.
Maphumulo listed a few of the projects that the businessman has undertaken:
- Repairs to an electricity transformer in Mthwalume after the original transformer exploded, leaving the community with no electricity for a lengthy period.
- On an annual basis, Maphumulo donates registration fees to youth wishing to pursue higher education studies, as well as to poor families wanting to put children through school. He pays for their uniform, food and in some instances, transport.
- His extensive business portfolio employs more than 1 000 people from the local community of Mthwalume and surrounding areas.
- He has built several churches, houses for the poor, community halls as well as recreational facilities.
- He is currently busy with two housing projects for two families that he has identified as being in desperate need of housing.
- Through his civil and construction company, he has constructed roads, walkways, and bridges for communities in the greater KZN South Coast.
- Together with his family, Maphumulo runs a burial scheme to assist poor families when they need to bury loved ones. In his capacity as a taxi boss and regional leader of Santaco, he has seen to the construction of bus depots, taxi ranks as well as an office complex for the uMthwalume Taxi Association.
KZN Santaco chairperson, Boy Zondi, reflected on having Maphumulo as a business associate. He said the role he played not just in the transport business but also by giving back to his people showed how humble and driven he was.
’’We have been with him for a very long time, so today [Saturday] we are here to celebrate him, and that as much as our industry is famous for violence, it is important that we show unity at all times, so this foundation will grow even more and that we will now have a closer link to our consumers,’’ he said.
Lizwi Maphumulo said he was grateful he had survived “all the bullets” which come with his line of work, “so this is just a push in the right direction, and that I am able to continue to be the helping hand that I am and ensure that our community is free from crime, unemployment and that basic human rights like water and electricity are provided. Soon there will be a housing project for a child headed home that I will be passing forth and this just fills my heart,’’ he said.