Limpopo province today welcomed the opening of the new Supported Employment Enterprises (SEE) factory at Seshego Industrial Park, with 39 workers with disabilities currently on site.
At its peak, the SEE factory is expected to employ 150 or more people with disabilities, thereby giving them space in the labour market.
The opening of the SEE factory by the Department of Labour was given the thumbs-up by the community of Seshego and Labour Minister as a step in the right direction.
Speaker after speaker said the new factory would make a noticeable dent in unemployment.
Chief Kgabo Moloto, of Moletji, urged the community to support the initiative. He pledged the support of the 147 headmen in the Moletji District.
Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said the opening of the factory followed the ratification of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention on People with Disabilities by South Africa in 2006.
“We have since taken the decision to establish these factories in all provinces. I urge you to offer support by buying the products. I am very happy that we have come to witness the opening of the Limpopo SEE factory that I promised in Parliament during 2017,” the Minister said.
The latest factory opened in Seshego will bring to 13 factories managed by the SEE. The latest development leaves Mpumalanga province as the only province without a facility.
SEE has manufacturing factories in Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, East London, Johannesburg, Kimberley, Pietermaritzburg, Port Elizabeth, Potchefstroom and Pretoria.
The factories currently employ over 1 000 disabled people, who are supported by 140 administration, management and technical staff.
Some of the products manufactured by SEE factories include office and school furniture; hospital clothes; office safes and gates. The entity’s head office is located in Pretoria.
“Depending on the extent of support, the department may increase the number of factories in Limpopo to areas such as Vhembe District and Collins Chabane Municipality. In Gauteng, we have three, in the Eastern Cape two, in KZN two and in the Western Cape two,” the Minister said.