Thuso Motau is passionate about her roles in local, national and global communities, and tends to them — and future generations — with a great sense of responsibility.
Her business, Mighty House of Soap, has been recognised for its work in manufacturing sustainable body soap and other detergent products that are made with recycled cooking oil collected from eateries in local communities. By assisting local businesses to dispose of used cooking oil, Motau has solved a major challenge for businesses and the municipality.
“You can drink our products and you’ll be completely fine,” Motau says with an assuring laugh. “It’s true. We have moved away from synthetic raw materials.” Her products are manufactured in her factory and currently sold in low-income communities from an onsite factory shop. She has plans to work with a major retailer to stock her products and recently signed a contract to export to Germany.
Motau is the recipient of an SAB Foundation Social Innovation Award. She has received funding and support from several institutions, including the Industrial Development Corporation, the South African Manufacturing Technology Demonstration Centre and the National Development Agency.
“I have learned that the little that you do in your community can have a big impact, not only in your community, but around the world as well,” she says. “I now live by this lesson.”
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Motau was able to spot the opportunity to offer an environmentally friendly disinfectant service. This strategy proved successful, and with the increased sales, she was able to create additional jobs.
“It is our responsibility to take care of our precious and delicate environment,” she says. “One of our mottos is ‘from waste to value’. We live this motto by turning waste into value, and we miss no opportunity to encourage others to do the same.”
The little that you do in your community can have a big impact