Dunoon suit salesman becomes successful bin cleaner

Siyanda Nohashe is making a business out of servicing rubbish bins

| By

Siyanda Nohashe cleans municipal wheelie bins along Aloe Street in Dunoon. He supports himself and pays one permanent and one casual worker. Photo: Peter Luhanga

For ten years Siyanda Nohashe used to sell South African designer suits. But in 2018, at the age of 30, he quit his job and swapped the suits he wore for a pair of blue overalls. Nohashe started a business cleaning municipal wheelie bins.

He says he wanted to earn more and work for himself. “I resigned. I said to my boss I want to start my own business,” says Nohashe.

Initially he thought of opening a car wash, but “everyone was doing it”.

“I wanted to do something unique,” he said.

With no capital and only a 20-litre bucket and a broom, he started cleaning municipal wheelie bins after they’d been emptied on refuse collection day for people living in Dunoon.

Charging just R5 a bin when he started, he soon had 30 clients.

But there was social stigma to overcome. He said people had seen him in suits, and now he was wearing dirty overalls and they were quick to judge him. Some people thought he was a drug addict. It “killed me emotionally”, he says.

He now has hundreds of clients and is doing well. He has moved from a backyard shack to an apartment with indoor plumbing and hot water. He has registered his business and he has one permanent and one casual employee.

He has recently introduced recycling for his clients. He buys clear refuse bags and hands them out so that people can separate recyclables from the trash that goes to landfills. He sells the recyclables to three companies in Montague Gardens.

When wheelie bins are damaged, Nohashe helps his clients apply to the City of Cape Town to get new ones free of charge.

Mawawa Dyobani, who has been a client for the last three years, says Nohashe provides a service he doesn’t have time to do himself.

“He cleans them with chemicals and afterwards they smell nice,” says Dyobani.

Nohashe’s next goal is to buy a bakkie and a high pressure cleaning unit so that he can expand his operation to other areas.

TOPICS:  Economy Sanitation

Next:  Here’s why you won’t be able to catch a train from Khayelitsha this year

Previous:  Without help these shelters will close within weeks

© 2022 GroundUp. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and GroundUp, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

We put an invisible pixel in the article so that we can count traffic to republishers. All analytics tools are solely on our servers. We do not give our logs to any third party. Logs are deleted after two weeks. We do not use any IP address identifying information except to count regional traffic. We are solely interested in counting hits, not tracking users. If you republish, please do not delete the invisible pixel.