Alex Japho Matlala
2 minute read
21 May 2020
6:25 am

Limpopo businessman starts food bank for over 800K people

Alex Japho Matlala

Addressing officials from the Vhembe district on Tuesday, Mpho Mathoho said his concern was to ensure that as many people as possible were fed.

Businessman Mpho Mathoho of Mathoho Foundation, middle, opens his heart and wallet by giving food parcels to people in Vhembe district in Limpopo during the lockdown, 19 May 2020. Picture: Alex Matlala

A Limpopo businessman stuck his hand deep into his pockets and has started a food bank which will ensure hundreds of thousands of people are fed.

Mpho Mathoho of Mathoho Foundation said he has set aside millions of rand to feed more than 800,000 people in Vhembe during the lockdown and beyond.

Addressing officials from the Vhembe district on Tuesday, Mathoho said his concern was to ensure that as many people as possible were fed.

The distribution of food parcels has already begun in over 40 villages in Thulamela municipality. The district has four municipalities – Thulamela, Musina, Makhado and Collins Chabane.

The food parcels include 50kg maize meal, 10kg sugar, 5kg rice, two-litre cooking oil, six medium tins of fish, a box of soap, tea bags and salt.

“I dropped out of school in standard 7 (now Grade 9) because I was raised by a single mother who had to grovel to feed me and my siblings,” said the tycoon. “I was recruited to work under serious hard labour conditions as a security officer where I was guarding premises with dogs at night in Honeydew, Johannesburg, when I was 19 years old.”

Mathoho said he also went on to work as a packer at supermarkets for five years.

“I have done everything to get where I am today. I slept under bridges and on river banks during cold winter nights because I had no money for accommodation. But today I am a proud owner of Mathoho Electrical,” he said.

“I am also a construction mogul and a game farmer in Limpopo and beyond the province’s borders. I am today proud to announce that I am prepared to use the money that I worked for all these years to feed the hungry and the poor.”

According to the 2018/2019 Integrated Development Plan Review, the district has a population of more than 1.2 million people, the majority of whom still live from hand-to-mouth.

This means more than half of the population qualifies as indigent people living below the poverty breadline.

Mathoho’s donation was warmly received by the district municipality and the community.

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