Rahab Matebane launched Mapitsi Holdings, a gardening and landscaping company in 2004. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength, with a presence in all the provinces of South Africa, but the head office still operates out of premises in Germiston.
How did your business start?
I had been working as an HR professional at Edcon, where I had moved up the ranks, and I was about to move over to IBM as a strategy consultant, but I also wanted to start my own business. Because I love healthy living, and fresh vegetables are a part of that, I launched Mapitsi Investments (later changed to Mapitsi Holdings) as a landscaping and gardening maintenance company with a specialised division for organic vegetable gardening. It grew over the years, and when I moved from IBM to Standard Bank, I realised that I was struggling to focus on both jobs. I had to choose one, or I would lose both. We now have 52 employees and operate in all of South Africa’s provinces.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
When I got divorced – around the time I joined IBM – I moved to Germiston to get out of the rat race. So this became the area where I set up my offices. Now that the company is doing well, we’ve built a bond with the area.
How did you find your premises?
We started out at Wadeville Industrial Park, and one of our neighbours there knew the owner of this building. I met up with her and had a look, and we liked each other.
Because we work nationally, it’s convenient to be in the Aerotropolis Ekurhuleni. Our offices are affordable, with family-orientated tenants, safe, and meet our requirements. And we’re in an industrial area, so in terms of sourcing materials or services, anything we need is at our fingertips.
Who are your neighbours?
The building previously attracted start-up legal attorneys so they’re the majority. We’re also near the ANC Ekurhuleni regional office. Next door we have a company that produces cleaning products.
What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
Much cheaper than Melrose. Beyond the rental benefits, it’s like being part of a family here.
How many people go through your store each day?
We are not a retail operation and we go to clients a lot. So people might come to us for meetings, but that’s not really how our business operates.
Do you have any expansion plans?
Of course we do. Every year, we do our own planning and I would like us to grow 58% this year. If we get to 30%, that will be OK. We were also accepted into Property Point, Growthpoint Properties enterprise development initiative, and we believe their network will help us to expand our operations.
What’s your most popular service?
Landscaping, gardening maintenance and HR solutions for SMMEs.
011 872 2191/7
Words: Georgina Guedes | Images: Supplied