R1, 2m project to benefit illegal car washers

Sunday, August 21, 2011
Siphiwe Nyathi

Polokwane- Informal car washers in Limpopo's capital will be able to operate legitimately when a R1, 2 million car wash facility opens later this year.

The Iperekeng Dikwena (work for yourselves) project was recently launched in Polokwane and will be built before December.

"The project is aimed at benefiting the car washers who have been operating illegally," said municipal spokeswoman Noko Lebea.

The facility will be able to accommodate 34 vehicles and will be fitted with pre-paid water and electricity meters as well as a recycling water system and storeroom.

Chairman of Limpopo's local economic development and finance portfolio committee Eddy Maleka said local people would be hired to build the wash bays. He said the project would also address water losses.

"The municipality is currently experiencing water losses due to the illegal activities of the car washers in the city," he explained.

A 17 member steering committee representing the local taxi association and street vendors has been established to manage the co-operative.

The members have received training to understand how cooperatives work and how to manage them.

A taxi driver from Polokwane Taxi Association, Gilbert Matlala, said he would take his taxi to the car wash and also convince others to support the project.

Food vendor Mosima Ramatsoma said she was looking forward to working with the car washers.

"I will make sure that my clients wash their cars at this facility while the car washers will refer their customers to me while waiting for their cars to washed," said Ramatsoma.

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