Colin Mkosi, founder of Cloudy Delivery (Photo: Luke Daniel)
- Takeaway food and groceries are delivered to Langa residents by cyclists who would otherwise be unemployed.
- Since its inception shortly before South Africa entered lockdown, Cloudy Deliverys has completed over 6,000 orders.
- The delivery service fills a void left by the likes of Mr D and Uber Eats while tackling the problem of youth unemployment.
- Cloudy Deliveries and its founder Colin Mkosi recently received recognition and funding from the SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards.
- The money will be used to buy better bikes, invest in technology, improve the company’s base of operations and expand into other areas.
- For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Residents of Langa, Cape Town, enlist a team of cyclists to bring groceries, takeaways and other goods to their homes. The service has already made more than 6,000 deliveries.
Langa, like most other townships on the outskirts of Cape Town, is underserved by major on-demand food delivery companies like Mr D and Uber Eats. It is also plagued by youth unemployment. A local delivery service, launched shortly before South Africa was plunged into a pandemic-induced lockdown, is busy addressing both issues.
Founded by 25-year-old entrepreneur and Langa resident Colin Mkosi, Cloudy Delivery uses bikes to pick up and drop off grocery orders from spaza stores, takeout from restaurants and even laundry from home businesses.
“Cloudy Deliverys is a delivery service similar to Uber Eats, except we use bicycles to make our deliveries,” Mkosi told Business Insider SA. These deliveries fill a void left by Uber Eats and Mr D not serving all of Langa due to crime issues and informal addresses that make navigation tricky.
“We are able to do this because we are a local business and we employ people from the community who understand the streets and know the ins and outs of their community.”
Cloudy Delivery employs up to 15 drivers, most aged 16 to 19, who spend their days crisscrossing the streets of Langa after being dispatched from the company’s headquarters, a modest shipping container that doubles as a workshop. When not buzzing with the sound of Mkosi’s daily pep talk to the young men‘s team, the metallic clank of tools vigorously repairing well-used bikes pierces the air.
Repairing bikes used by Cloudy Deliverys (Photo: Luke Daniel)
“Maintenance is a huge issue when it comes to bikes, because some of the roads we ride have potholes, and they’re not good for bikes,” Mkosi said, adding that the 12 Currently used bikes require constant attention to keep the deliveries flowing.
Since its debut in February 2020, Cloudy Delivery has completed over 6,000 orders in Langa. A big part of the appeal of the service is the ease with which an order can be placed and paid for.
Customers can place an order by giving their address via WhatsApp message or by calling Cloudy Deliverys. A delivery courier will then be sent to the address, where he will receive a list of the goods to be collected, as well as the money necessary for the purchases. Cloudy Deliverys then buys the goods from the store or restaurant and sends them back to the customer, charging a fee of between R15 and R50.
Cloudy Deliveries (Photo: Luke Daniel)
“The people of Langa have been very welcoming, they really like the work we are doing, given the impact it has on young people and the community as a whole,” Mkosi said.
“Langa is really close to my heart and I would love to see this community grow. The challenges we face here in Langa are also common in other townships, which is [mainly] youth unemployment. There are so many young people who are unemployed and so many who are unable to generate income for themselves and support themselves. So, as Cloudy Deliverys, that’s one of the things we’re looking to address, to employ young people and enable them to support themselves. “
This recognition, for elevating the community as a service provider and employer of young people, has extended far beyond Langa. Mkosi was recently named one of South Africa’s 29 most inspiring social innovators by the Social Innovation Trophies of the SAB Foundationwith Cloudy Deliverys receiving a development award of R400,000.
Cloudy Deliveries (Photo: Luke Daniel)
“This is the first time that as a company, since we started, we have received this amount of money in the company… it is truly a great honor to be recognized in this way” , Mkosi said.
“We intend to use the money to improve the bikes we currently use. We’re looking to get more bikes and better bikes. We’re also going to invest in technology so we can automate some of the processes we’re doing. and also improve the space we currently operate from. Maybe next year, once we have our ducks lined up, we’ll try to expand to a different community and see where that takes us.