Credit to Dumelang News 26 May 2016
Botshabelo – The Botshabelo industrial area is abuzz with activity amidst the official opening of four of the Thabo Community Action Trust (TCAT) projects aimed at sustainable job creation and poverty alleviation. Close to R10 million was pumped in the projects meant to bring life to the economy of the impoverished township.
One of the latest projects is the Apexeon Technology Centre which was established with the vision of being an electronic devices manufacturing plant. Among the devices to be manufactured, there are proudly local tablets that come with android software and keypads as well as smart phones that will be sold globally. Based in one of the firms in the second biggest township in the country, the centre will also boast a business innovation incubator, ICT training and consulting and software development, and a fibre connectivity installation and management among other activities. “The skills development and training will be the first phase starting in July and other things will follow gradually to ensure there are no glitches,” explained David Uwah from Apexeon. He added that they planned to ensure that the centre becomes an area of excellence in what they do.
The tyre manufacturing plant, Botshabelo Retreaders, opened its doors in January and currently employs 16 staff members. The plant re-treads types for trucks, trailers and busses.
Having opened its doors in September last year, the Ronco Woodworx furniture manufacturing plant was initially meant to be a training centre for unemployed woodwork graduates. According to the owner, Ronnie Coetzee, eight years ago he only meant to assist his former students with on-the-job training. “With the help of the funding from the trust, I managed to retain 20 permanent employees and about eight to 10 temporary staff,” he explained. They manufacture, among other things, office furniture, built-in cupboards and also do furniture upholstery. “We are looking to expand to a cutting and edging centre and a training centre,” said Coetzee.
The Moola for Waste Recycling Centre aimed at ensuing food security and a clean environment is an innovative give and take project that teaches community members to work for the food they get.
According to the General Manager of TCAT, Mariette Bernard, the community members take in their waste to be weighed at the plant after which they are awarded a voucher which they use to buy staple foods like maize meal, samp and cake flour. She explained that they were the only recycling centre that accepts glasses and said that they had collected 600 glasses and about seven tons of broken glass so far. “We have distributed food worth R35 000,” she said stressing that they were aiming to get schools involved by teaching children the value of waste and how to grow their own gardens.