The indigenous landscaping on the 40 000 square metre campus of Riversands Incubation Hub looks spectacular thanks to a woman-owned business Prim and Proper Landscaping which maintains the area.
Entrepreneur Tiisetso Sylvia Khabele has an established team of six men – all from Diepsloot – who spend their days mowing, weeding and pruning the beautiful shrubs, groundcovers and lawn. Among this group is a supervisor, who has freed up Khabele to focus on networking and business development.
When the facility first opened there was an established landscaper that was taking care of the Hub gardens. Then Riversands Incubation Hub devised a programme to empower local landscaping entrepreneurs. This programme included the facilitation of an Agri-SETA accredited landscaping course for Diepsloot residents.
During the hands-on programme, Khabele was the most outstanding participant and was presented with the opportunity to take on the Hub’s landscaping contract. “Khabele was far and away the best candidate for the job. Her company Prim and Proper Landscaping has now been doing the grounds of Riversands Incubation Hub for four years and it’s been an extremely pleasant experience,” commented Mahomed Bashir, Head of Finance and Facilities.
In the early days, Khabele initially worked alongside the established landscaper for six months to learn the ropes of the campus gardens and since then she doesn’t mind admitting that she’s had to learn some hard lessons. “I count myself lucky to have had support from the team at Riversands Incubation Hub. From marketing through to finance and strategy, they’ve had my back,” she remarked.
Everyone in the Prim and Proper Landscaping team now wears branded clothing, which has been a great motivator. “Of course, since they all work in the garden, it made sense for them to be provided with hard-wearing clothing. The upside has been that all the men now have a sense of pride and belonging,” said Khabele.
Looking ahead, Khabele is extremely focused on landing additional landscaping maintenance contracts. “I’ve proved my worth and now it’s time to build my business,” she concluded.