By Keletso Mkhwanazi.
A young couple was inspired to find, make, and supply cleaning detergents for household and industrial usage at affordable prices. Following the establishment of the first detergent store in Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria, Star Cleaner Detergents is manufactured with deliberately sourced ingredients. The shop distributes detergents, dishwashing solutions, and cream cleaners to businesses and individuals for resale or personal use.
The family company was formed in November 2019, but due to COVID-19, it had to suspend operations and reopened in 2021. Mpho Bokaba, 34, and Dikeledi Bokang, 31, the company’s founders, not only have a factory that supplies local supermarkets and retail stores, but they also have an online business at co.space entrepreneurship park in Pretoria East.
Bokaba told Vutivi News that because they were a manufacturing company, load-shedding presented numerous obstacles that affected their lead time to clients. They had to put in extra hours to meet their deadlines. “We make a variety of items, each with its own manufacturing time period. We can produce large quantities of units in an hour; however, we normally allow three days for finished goods to reach our clients. Our procedure is straightforward,” he said.
“We manufacture products, filling them into packaging, labelling them, shrinking them, and dispatching them for deliveries or collections,” he explained, adding that their major accomplishment was getting their products licensed with the SABS. Bokaba said they occasionally ran into challenges due to the high cost of raw materials. “The smaller the materials we buy, the more expensive they are… so their MOQs (minimum quantity order) are sometimes way higher than what we can currently afford,” he said.
The company found new clients by word of mouth from other manufacturers and also marketed its products on social media, door-to-door, and via traditional marketing methods. Their short-term goal is to find a steady manufacturing environment they can serve without having to travel large distances. “Our long-term goal will be to flood our products nationwide and for Star Cleaner
Detergents is to be known in every township in South Africa as a black-owned household detergent brand made in South Africa,” Bokaba said. Star Cleaner Detergents was awarded the Most Innovative SMME for 2023 by NPO Ranyaka in collaboration with the City of Tshwane and Nedbank.