Rhiza Babuyile: supporting development



Rhiza Babuyile imparts marketable skills and entrepreneurship know-how to people living in some of Johannesburg’s toughest environments. (Image: Rhiza Babuyile, via Facebook)

“Our vision is to eradicate extreme poverty in South Africa’s township communities by giving historically disadvantaged individuals the tools to become completely self-sustaining” Rhiza Babuyile mission statement.

By giving people the skills and tools necessary for them to take their wellbeing into their own hands, Rhiza Babuyile hopes to make a lasting and meaningful difference in the lives of those in underprivileged communities.

“If we keep on helping people without giving them the tools to, in the future, help themselves, then we are not sustainable,” Rhiza Babuyile founder Alef Muelenburg told CCTV Africa. “So the business hub is there for people to create an income for themselves so that at the end of the day we are not needed anymore.”

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Rhiza Babuyile has community development projects established in Orange Farm and Diepsloot, two of South Africa’s youngest and fastest growing townships.

Unemployment is commonplace in both and this is one of the many reasons why the organisation has put such a huge focus on entrepreneurship and skills development, in the hopes of creating a sustainable solution to poverty by getting people actively involved in their own development.

Perhaps the most important part of its involvement is its enterprise development hubs, which offer training in the fields of entrepreneurship, business administration and other factors that go into starting and successfully running a small-scale business.

Commenting on the aim of the business hub, Muelenburg says: “It’s about promoting entrepreneurship in the township because there’s so much talent in the township and, through that talent, we can ensure sustainability and a long-term good future for South Africa.”

Diepsloot entrepreneur Khabelo Tau says he managed to get his business off the ground with the help of the Rhiza Babuyile Enterprise Development programme. “I came up with a business plan, and then it went through,” Tau explains. “They got me a tent and 50 chairs for start-up.

“So (from now on) it’s really from my side that I have to push up and grow the business.”


Rhiza Babuyile’s clinics, while catering to a wide range of illnesses and injuries, dedicate most of their resources to mother and child care, dental care, TB and HIV/Aids. (Image: Rhiza Babuyile, via Facebook)


Apart from entrepreneurship and enterprise development, Rhiza Babuyile also runs programmes in the fields of education, healthcare and skills development, all as a means to help reduce some of the most common symptoms of poverty.

Through its education programme, it focuses on early childhood development (ECD). Most ECD programmes in townships are informal, meaning that children often only receive a formal education from the age of seven or higher.

Rhiza Babuyile has also established mobile clinics and what it calls semi-fixed clinics in various townships, including Diepsloot and Orange Farm.

These clinics, while catering to a wide range of illnesses and injuries, dedicate most of their resources to mother and child care, dental care, TB and HIV/Aids.

Much like the entrepreneurship and enterprise development programmes, the organisation’s skills development programme aims to equip people in townships with the knowledge and marketable skills they need to compete in the job market.

“They’re doing a great job providing us with such opportunities,” Tau says. “We as Diepsloot youth, here we don’t have facilities, we don’t have information. We don’t have many things here.”


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