A Joburg community rallied to support an informal street seller and found a great solution!

Informal Shop

Sipho Manyise has been dubbed the Plant Whisperer by the residents of Fourways, Johannesburg. Recently he was detained and his signage removed from his informal roadside nursery. Upset by the incident, the community rallied to assist Sipho to become compliant.


A resident of Fourways shared photos of Sipho Manyise, the Plant Whisperer, being slapped on the wrists for his informal nursery which has been a prominent part of Lombardy Road for some time. The JMPD division responsible for implementing by-laws took down all his signage and it really upset the majority of the community.

Sipho has been selling plants on the corner for years and has gained incredible knowledge of plants and how to care for them. He is often featured on the I Love Fourways group for his beautiful garden plants and life-changing fertilisers.

While it is completely understandable that he was singled out by the JMPD, the community decided to step in and help Sipho become compliant with the law.

Many community members offered to check how to help Sipho obtain legal rights to trade while others wanted to be sure that Sipho’s JMPD encounter was, in fact, legal. Others offered to find a new trading spot and move his nursery free of charge.

In the end, Sipho has been granted permission to stay on his corner and has been educated in the by-laws of roadside signage. He now understands that he isn’t allowed to attach his signs to the nearby stop-signs as this creates an unsafe environment.

“Just an update: I am meeting Superintendent Phamla today at Sipho’s site. He agrees that the site is clean and he should stay! He will just educate him with the bylaws replacing signs on stops signs and lampposts !!! He will also inform the councillor just need to send an email.” – Angela Alfonso

The community will be keeping a watchful eye on Sipho to be sure he is ok and willing to step in to assist him if he ever has troubles again. Anyone could argue that Sipho should move but we shall leave you with these two images, one shows Sipho’s nursery back in 2016 when he was interviewed by I Have A Name and the other was taken a day after his encounter. One is not like the other… One shows the love and care he has put into the land around him.

Credit: I Have A Name

Credit: Leigh Boyd Patterson Chazen

Sources: Facebook
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens.
Good Things Guy have recently launched their new VLOG bringing you all the GOOD THINGS on a weekly show. Watch this week’s edition below:

Facebook Comments

Tyler Vivier
Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy. Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *