The lockdown has seen many people lose their jobs, inspiring them to look at new ways of earning an income.
Masakhane Sotayisi, 30, from Mandela Park in Khayelitsha, is a former opera singer who is now washing pets to make a living.
Masakhane, who used to travel the world, started his business at his home.
Most of his clients are dogs, but he also washes cats and charges as little as R20 per wash, no matter the size of the pet.
Masakhane, who owns three dogs, says he used to have them cleaned at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic in the area, but this service was stopped during lockdown and he seized the opportunity to fill the void.
“I realised every time I buy a dip to wash my dogs that other people are struggling and I started an experiment by asking people from my street to bring their pets for me to wash them,” he says.
Word spread fast and people started bringing their dogs.
“People walk to Makhaza with their dogs for a single wash, I decided to make this official two weeks ago and started charging people,” says Masakhane.
“My mom has an old bathtub which she used for her garden. I asked her for it and she agreed.”
He works with his younger brother Zukile and they charge R20 per wash.
“I currently do not have all the required products to use. I have the dip for dogs, but I still need to buy shampoo and conditioner as the dip only removes fleas.”
He says it takes about 10 minutes to wash one dog.
“It is challenging to wash them because we found out that some dogs have never been washed before,” he says.
“We struggle to get them inside the bathtub but when in, they do not want to come out.”
Some dogs require the owner to be present, and Masakhane says breeds like pit bulls are a challenge as some of them can be aggressive.
“The owner has to be present and hold it for us. We also tell them they cannot bring two as we are seeing the pit bulls start fights with other dogs.”
He also washes cats and encourages people to bring their pussies for a good cleaning.
Dog owner Nobuntu Mdagamba says Masakhane is a great asset to the neighbourhood
“We were pleased when he told us that he has started this business because the animal clinic stopped washing dogs,” she says.
“The boys are lazy to wash the dogs even when you pay them.
“Most dogs here are full of fleas and they pass them to other dogs.”