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Giving cars — and teens — the royal treatment

Ziyaad King, 25, opened a car wash to co m bat criminal activities the community of Vergenoeg. King has employed young boys who do not work or go to school.
Ziyaad King, 25, opened a car wash to co m bat criminal activities the community of Vergenoeg. King has employed young boys who do not work or go to school.
Image: SUPPLIED

As unemployment rises, so do crime statistics, as people scramble for an income.

Vergenoeg resident Ziyaad King, 25, is doing his bit to combat both with his car wash — right in front of his home.

“I started King’s Car Wash in November after realising how the youth in my community are ruining their lives by consuming drugs and getting involved in criminal activities,” he said.

King was touched by how young the boys were, some still in their teens.

“During the week I have four of them working, and more over the weekends when it is busy. They wash the vehicles and I polish and do the final touch-ups to make sure the customer will be satisfied.”

King, who was unemployed for some time, got his start-up capital from his uncle.

“I am grateful to my uncle for helping me out, as the carwash business is the only thing I have that is keeping me busy. Seeing the young boys change their lifestyles is inspiring, because it was heartbreaking watching them miss school and not trying to improve their lives and do something good.”

The soft-spoken entrepreneur often takes the boys to car shows in their spare time.

“I try my utmost best to make sure they do not relapse. I want to show them there are other ways of entertaining oneself,” he said.

Though he is a businessman, King puts the needs of employees first by ensuring everyone gets an equal income that will go back to their families.

“It is enlightening hearing their stories of wanting to help their families now. The carwash has changed their lives.”

The carwash depends on the income it generates to buy more cleaning products, and King worries constantly about not having enough petty cash to keep the business running.

Neighbour Bernice Booysen described King as a selfless young community leader who was inspirational and motivating.

“He doesn’t have permanent employees. If one wants to lend a hand to put bread on the table, he encourages you to do so. Ziyaad does his best to help in the community where he can. I can see him becoming a Local Hero, as he has a heart of gold,” said Booysen.

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