After a chance encounter with a friend who led a successful cleaning business, Stella Mokwena decided that she was “done with running after other people’s visions” and quit her job in banking. With her friend as mentor, she established Staza Cleaning Services starting with one cleaning employee and operating from her home in Soshanguve, Tshwane. Twenty years later the business employs 350 people and offers a one-stop service covering facilities management, cleaning, hygiene, pest control and gardening.
As a service provider to Barloworld the company was referred to Siyakhula for development support in 2014 and received assistance in quality and occupational health management leading to the company’s certification in ISO 9001 & ISO 45000. The support also included management training, leadership & coaching, along with additional market opportunities within the Barloworld group of Companies.
“Our number one value at Staza cleaning is ‘Love never fails’”. This was how Stella described the anchor of a business strategy when she first joined the Siyakhula programme. While it may have initially been mistaken for marketing speak, the passage of time has proven not only its authenticity, but its value in steering the business through many ups and downs over the years. As she explains it, this value is closely aligned to her faith and which for her means that anything done in love and passion provides for abundance for all and with that in place, one must just “keep knocking and God will help you”.
Amongst the highlights of her 20 years in business, are the people Mme Stella has met, with both positive and negative experiences shaping the person that she is today, including difficult encounters such as bargaining council negotiations that made her realise that the minimum wage is not necessarily a liveable wage, and often falls short of meeting the challenges that people go through daily. This industry employs a lot of single parents who are also looking after their extended family members and it has been a joy for Staza to be part of a solution.
She is most proud of being able to provide employment opportunities for neighbours, family members, and other members of her community. Skills development is a particular passion for her, and the business is a leading provider of learnerships in the cleaning industry and supervision skills. Her company also provides funds for school dropouts to return to school and finish Matric and university tuition for its managers. Mme Stella’s pride and joy, Staza, also provides regular donations of food parcels, sanitary wear, and sanitizers to NPOs in Soshanguve and surrounding communities where the company is contracted. Its own Enterprise and Supplier Development programme includes a focus on procuring from black women-owned companies as much as possible and providing much needed development finance.
As she nears retirement, Stella is focused on developing Staza’s younger Directors and Managers. Her personal plans include eventually taking time off to teach the Bible, provide mentorship and support other entrepreneurs as a non-Executive Director.Back to previous page