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South African enterpreneur

Thuso Khumalo / skFebruary 11, 2014

Finding a job in South Africa can be challenging. The country’s unemployment rate hovers around 25 percent. Some individuals have decided to take their survival into their own hands by becoming entrepreneurs.

Nhalanhla Vusumuzi Khumalo, owner of Goodwork Security und Cleaning Services company
Image: DW/T. Khumalo

Nhlanhla Vusumuzi Khumalo was once an underpaid, struggling security guard but left his job to become an entrepreneur.

“I started by guarding the streets, looking after residents in Norwood William Road,” Khumalo told DW.

In 2009 Khumalo established the Goodwork Security and Cleaning Services company with money from his meager salary. After several years of hard work, he now boasts a staff of around 70 security guards, a big office and a healthy income.

Khumalo says the high rate of crime in Johannesburg and his desire to see people living in a safe environment led him to establish a security business. However, he says, it was not easy.

A staff member coordinating the distribution of security guards
Goodwork Security and Cleaning Services provides guards for neighborhoods in JohannesburgImage: DW/T. Khumalo

“Sometimes I take the money for food to buy uniforms for the guards,” he told DW. This would sometimes leave him without food at home. He is now successful and can also employ administrative staff.

Khumalo's company guards businesses and residences worth millions of dollars. In addition to this, Goodwork Security and Cleaning Services offers undercover and VIP protection, an armed reaction service, access control technology, CCTV installations and much more.

Motivation to work hard

Every day, Khumalo parades, instructs and motivates his guards to do their best to perpetuate his dream of a safe environment. Rosely Jacobson lives in one of the streets guarded by the Goodwork Security Company and admires the job the 32 year-old entrepreneur is doing.

“Nhlanhla is a man of integrity and honesty,” she told DW, adding that the company's staff is reliable, friendly and very helpful.

Security forces at the World Cup in South Africa
South Africa suffers from a high crime rateImage: picture alliance/dpa

Staff member Timothy Khumalo told DW that he is happy to be employed by Goodwork Security as he is now able to take care of his wife and child.

“I can pay rent, I'm able to do those basic things that I can do for us to survive,” he said.

Despite his successes so far, company founder Khumalo says there are still challenges ahead but he will continue to work hard on his future plans.

His dream is to have security guards serving in every country in southern Africa and he hopes to be a role model for other entrepreneurs in his homeland, South Africa.