Goabaone Sewing company owners, Motlagosebatho Motlashuping and Matshidiso Tshilo, saw a new business opportunity when President Cyril Ramaphosa made face masks mandatory in public places to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The two business partners had been stuck at home in Delareyville, a village outside Mafikeng, living on meagre savings since the start of the nationwide lockdown at the end March. Meanwhile, factory-made face masks turned out to be unaffordable for many people in a country crippled by poverty and hyperinflation.
Motlagosebatho (40) and Matshidiso (50) jumped on the opportunity to make money by sewing and selling cheaper cloth masks for their customers from home and at intersections. “We saw it as an opportunity to grow our business and also to play our own part in fighting the pandemic and started selling these masks after noticing that people intending to board buses were being turned away,” said Motlagosebatho.