Gogo Selina Matoro (60), one of the ladies who started with the project, carrying a bucket full of stones that she picked up in the road.
In an area covered by sand and small stones that look like concrete, about 20 pensioners have found ways to feed their families by collecting the small stones and selling them to local builders.
About 33 kilometres north of Louis Trichardt is a rural village called Ha-Matsa. The village is blessed with a lot of stones and sand. While many people may see the stones as a threat to their motor vehicles, 18 elderly women and two men see the very same stones as a form of employment and feeding their families.
“The Humbelani Mining Project is an organisation that was established in 2018 with the aim of creating self-employment, using materials from nature. This project deals mostly with collecting stones from different ranges and sand washed away by run-offs,” said Gogo Selina Matoro (60), one of the ladies who started the project. “This is how we put food on our tables and we are also able to send our children to school with the little money we make from this project,” she added. “We cannot wait for someone to come and take us away from this poverty. We decided to wake up and do it ourselves.”
When Limpopo Mirror visited Humbelani Mining Project, we found the gogos busy at work collecting small stones, using small buckets ranging from two litres to 20 litres. They told us that they used buckets to collects these building materials because they did not have wheelbarrows. “We are facing challenges because we lack resources such as wheelbarrows and spades. We are old and we cannot carry buckets to do all deliveries. Some deliveries are far and we end up hiring cars from other people and the transportation charges end up reducing our profit,” she said.
“We are appealing to members of the public to help us with donations, so that our project can grow. We want this (project) to be like a big hardware store where people can buy building materials at low prices.”
Date:15 November 2020 - By: Maanda Bele
Maanda Bele, born and raised in Nzhelele Siloam, studied journalism at the Tshwane University of Technology.
He is passionate about current news and international affairs.
He worked as part of the Zoutnet team as an intern in 2017.
He is currently a freelance journalist specialising in news from the Vhembe district.