BBL PARTICIPANT: Makgethoa Phetla, Machipe, Mpumalanga

In a Nutshell

Through her participation in SocioTech’s Broad-Based Livelihoods (BBL) strategies to stimulate personal economic activity, Makgethoa Phetla learnt the money management skills to get out of debt. She has grown a food garden to provide food for her family. She has a clear, comprehensive plan for future money management.

Through her example, her daughter is gaining life skills and a positive expectation that she has the power to shape her future.

She says…

Makgethoa Phetla

When I first discovered SocioTech, I had a lot of debt. I was four months in arrears with some of my accounts and I was terrified of being blacklisted. Thanks to what I have learnt through doing the BBL MyFuture training, I know how to manage my money and I have paid off all my debts. I have closed all my accounts. Now, if I buy something, I either buy for cash, or if I need clothes for the kids I layby.

When Charles Bisimwa first told me how I could budget and save and not just spend money on nonsense I was horrified. I thought it would be really difficult not to buy all that stuff, but actually it hasn’t been that hard. And I feel so free! The relief of not worrying is wonderful. Such a weight off my shoulders.

Thanks to BBL MyFood, I have grown my own vegetables which has saved me a lot of money. This season I haven’t bought any vegetables except cabbages. And you must know that I am really not a gardener. I had never dug in soil before and now I am eating green peppers, onions and spinach from my own garden. Only cabbages defeated me. I don’t know what I am doing wrong but the cabbages I planted are full of pests. Maybe I am not a cabbage person, but I have taken some advice on what to do from Mr Kwena and I am going to try again. If they don’t work out again, I think I will just grow spinach and thepe. They are very happy in my garden.


"I know how to manage my money and I have paid off all my debts. I have closed all my accounts."

My friend is getting married in November. It is a traditional wedding and I am part of her entourage so I must wear a traditional outfit. It is quite expensive to get all dressed up like that. It is going to cost R4000 to do it all. But, you know what? I am not worried. I have started saving so that by the time November comes I will be fine. I am actually already a quarter of the way there. So, long before the party I will have my outfit.

I am applying everything I learnt to my parenting. I am expecting a baby in three months’ time, but I have already bought 6 packets of Pampers. If I buy them gradually like this it won’t be a shock to my budget when the baby is born. My older daughter is seven and last week the base of her school shoe came apart from the top part. Before I did the MyFuture training, I would have bought new ones, but I remembered what Charles had told us and I just went and bought glue and stuck the two parts back together. It works well. You can’t even see that the shoe was repaired.

I want my kids to see me acting like this and learn. If I show them, they won’t make the same mistakes as me. Their lives can be smoother from the start.

I believe we all deserve good times. Saving is not about depriving myself and my children. It is just about developing a new way of thinking about these things. Planning and budgeting means that we can still have treats. It is my daughter’s birthday soon and I have budgeted so that she can have a lovely day. She deserves a nice party she has been a very good girl.

Life is not supposed to be full of worry. It is supposed to have lovely moments of joy. Now that I am in control of my money that is how it will be.


Makgethoa Phetla
Makgethoa Phetla