BBL PARTICIPANT: Maggie Manganeng, Strydkraal, Sekhukhune, Limpopo
In a Nutshell
Through their participation in SocioTech’s Broad-Based Livelihoods (BBL) strategies to stimulate personal economic activity, Maggie Manganeng from Strydkraal in Sekhukhune, Limpopo, believes the youth in her community can get new hope for the future, by discovering that they can earn a good living through their own effort, even if jobs are unavailable.
I have lived in Strydkraal all my life. When I was growing up it was a very different community. We were mixed in the sense that some people followed one king and others were linked to a different king, but we all lived together. In those days you didn’t need money to live the way you do now. Don’t misunderstand me, we worked hard, but rands and coins in a purse were not necessary. My mother had land and cattle. She grew a lot of mielies and beans, so we almost never had to buy from a shop.
Today life is different. It breaks my heart seeing our young people sitting at home. They have so much potential and yet they don’t know how to take the next step. It’s not good for a community to have young people going hungry.
You can’t control hungry youth. They need something that will change their attitude and motivate them.
I understand why they feel that way. Before the (underground rainwater harvesting) tanks I didn’t think I could change my situation. I am hoping that perhaps this new project with the chefs can be part of the solution. Maybe if those chefs could come here and teach. Perhaps some learnerships could come out of that process.
Perhaps if the youth see successful selling at a market day, then they can start to believe that side hustle business can bring in good money.
In the early 1990s, I had 5 small children. My husband was working in Pretoria, but the money was not enough. I needed additional income. I started by growing and selling tomatoes. I put a sign up on the corner and customers came to me.
"Thanks to the deep trenching method, my soil is very good..."
Shortly after that Mrs Masha invited me to attend a meeting where she introduced us to Marna and Tshepo Khumbane. That meeting was a gift from God, because they worked with us to make rainwater harvesting tanks like the one you see here. The tanks allowed us to store water so we had supply for our gardens all year round.
The tanks worked wonderfully for a long time, but now I think my one has a leak. I have tried fixing it, but all my efforts have failed. I need guidance to fix the problem. I have spoken to Marna, and she says she will assist so I am hopeful.
Thanks to the deep trenching method, my soil is very good, and I can still garden enough to produce for me and my family but there is not enough water to do more than that at the moment. I am glad I can still provide for my family because, even though all but one of my children has now moved to Johannesburg, they still come back wanting home food with mama’s vegetables.
I also breed and sell goats. That is good business because you can sell a goat (depending on its size) for as much as R1500.
Keeping goats is quite straight forward. They are strong animals who look after themselves. They don’t get sick very often. They don’t need much water. And they taste delicious – I love them cooked long and slow in a stew. That was what we had on Good Friday, a lovely goat stew.