Young ar­ti­san leads in man­u­fac­tur­ing

Vuk'uzenzele - - Education - More Mat­shediso

LOW COST South African Bureau of Stan­dards (SABS) ap­proved san­i­tary tow­els have the po­ten­tial to be­come a thriv­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­ness for young peo­ple in the area.

One of the suc­cess­ful grad­u­ates of a Tech­ni­cal Vo­ca­tional Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing in­sti­tu­tions is mak­ing a big dif­fer­ence when it comes to women’s health in KwaZulu-Natal while show­ing that its “cool” to be a woman ar­ti­san.

Twenty eight year-old Si­nenhlanhla Ma­jozi is a tech­ni­cian at a fac­tory that man­u­fac­tures low cost san­i­tary tow­els at the Coastal Col­lege Skills Train­ing Cen­tre for the com­mu­nity of Ham­mers­dale near Dur­ban.

Her job as an ar­ti­san is to main­tain the ma­chine which pro­duces the san­i­tary tow­els, and she was well pre­pared for her po­si­tion af­ter ob­tain­ing an elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tion from the TVET.

The col­lege also houses the Coastal Col­lege Skills Train­ing Cen­tre so that many of the stu­dents who grad­u­ate are able to se­cure a job.

“The ma­chine that we use is able to man­u­fac­ture about 366 tow­els per minute. They are of good qual­ity and they are very af­ford­able. Women can get one pad for about R1,20,” she ex­plained.

Stu­dents from the Coastal Col­lege Skills Train­ing Cen­tre and women from the Ham­mers­dale com­mu­nity in KwaZulu-Natal took it upon them­selves to man­u­fac­ture the low cost san­i­tary tow­els to re­spond to the de­mand for af­ford­able san­i­tary tow­els in the area.

“So far we sup­ply Ukusa Se­condary School with about 300 packets of san­i­tary tow­els per month. We are still work­ing on mar­ket­ing our prod­uct and distribut­ing it to other parts of the prov­ince where it is needed by most women,” Ma­jozi added.

She said she be­lieves in the project be­cause she is a woman and wanted know how the prod­uct that she uses is man­u­fac­tured.

Ma­jozi said about six other fe­males from the com­mu­nity are cur­rently be­ing trained to op­er­ate the man­u­fac­tur­ing ma­chine as well.

“We heard about this op­por­tu­nity and wanted to be part of the project to see how san­i­tary tow­els are man­u­fac­tured from scratch,” she said.

At the mo­ment there are three tech­ni­cians and four op­er­a­tors who form part of the man­u­fac­tur­ing team with other stu­dents who work as pro­mot­ers of the pads.

The De­part­ment of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing had also been on a mas­sive drive to en­cour­age young peo­ple to be ar­ti­sans.

It is be­ing de­liv­ered through the Decade of the Ar­ti­san Pro­gramme which ad­vo­cates that it is “cool” to be a woman ar­ti­san. The de­part­ment re­ported that the num­bers of fe­males reg­is­tered for ar­ti­sanal trades were be­low 25 per­cent for the 2015/16 fi­nan­cial year and that this sort of project can help change per­cep­tions.

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