South Africa: New Factory to Advance Employment of Persons With Disability

Government is set to open a new manufacturing factory at the Seshego Industrial Park, which will employ people living with disabilities thereby giving them space in the labour market.

The factory, which is expected to be opened on Monday, will extend the footprint of the Supported Employment Enterprise (SEE) formerly known as Sheltered Employment Factories (SEF).

The enterprise was established more than 60 years ago to provide employment opportunities for purely people living with disabilities who were unable to hold down employment in the open labour market due to the nature of their afflictions.

Ownership of the factories is vested in the state through the Department of Labour, and they trade under the name service products.

SEE currently has 12 factories across South Africa operating in seven of the nine provinces, and the opening of the one in Seshego will make it 13.

The only province without a facility is Mpumalanga, however, plans are afoot to open a factory there.

The factories are located in Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, East London, Johannesburg, Kimberley, Pietermaritzburg, Port Elizabeth, Potchefstroom and Pretoria.

Collectively they employ 11 000 people with disabilities who are supported by 140 administration, management and technical staff.

Some of the products manufactured by SEE factories include office furniture; school furniture; hospital clothes; office safes and gates.

The factory will be opened on Monday by Labour Minister, Mildred Oliphant, in Polokwane.

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