After struggling to find a cleaner, Alen Ribic and Aisha Pandor poured their savings into launching SweepSouth – a platform where users can book cleaners.
Today the application is considered the Uber of cleaning services – with revenue of over R100 million in the past year.
Speaking to VIA (DStv channel 147)’s personal-finance show Geldhelde, Pandor said they invested all their savings for their kids’ university fees into the business back in 2013.
“It’s been quite a long process of trying to get back on track to being financially responsible parents and adults,” Pandor said.
“We thought if we could build something like Uber that uses technology that connects domestic workers looking for work with young people like us who are looking for their services”
Pandor is the daughter of science and technology minister Naledi Pandor.
The platform lists available domestic workers for people to book, where SweepSouth takes a marginal commission.
Like Uber, the domestic workers are not directly employed by SweepSouth but use the platform to make bookings.
“We went from the two of us working around our dining-room table – both of us sitting all day and working on this business plan – to going from a few domestic workers we were interviewing ourselves,” Pandor said.
“[We] even went from cleaning houses ourselves to having 11 000 domestic workers on the platform.”
On average, Sweep South charges R38 an hour on the platform with no hidden costs. The cleaners get between 65% (R24.70) and 85% (R32.30) of that amount. The national minimum wage is R15 per hour.
Pandor said all domestic workers, predominantly single mothers with dependents, are interviewed by SweepSouth before they are deployed.
Cleaners can earn up to R8,000 a month plus tips, beating the typical earnings of domestic workers, Pandor said.
The company today employs roughly 40 employees and aims to launch similar services in Kenya, Botswana, Nigeria and Ghana.
This article was first published by Business Insider on the 18th February 2019.