Turning cans into culture, rags into robes

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

A woman is cleaning up her neighbourhood by turning cans into culture and rags into robes.

Sarah Mahlangu, 53, of Middelburg draws tourists off Mpumalanga's N4 road to her shop.

Aptly called Something Out Of Nothing, the shop is in Mhluzi, north of Middelburg.

Mahlangu left nursing because she is a single parent and found that looking after her children as she wanted to was difficult if she was working shifts.

She started her business in 1998 and today employs 25 women. Her colourful stall is ablaze with Ndebele arts and crafts. She sells bead work, Ndebele painted art and African clothes.

Tourists are treated to a hearty traditional meal and genuine Ndebele dancing while they do their shopping.

"South African Tourism [Satour] was so impressed with my work that it invited me to exhibit and represent Mpumalanga at the World Travel Market in London last November," Mahlangu said.

She also won the National Creativity Award for outstanding achievement in productivity improvement from the National Productivity Institute last year.