The Youth Employment Service (YES) on Tuesday launched two additional initiatives at its flagship Kago hub, in Tembisa.
The additions of Blossom Care Solutions and Buddibox will result in an additional 50 direct and 300 indirect jobs being created.
Blossom Care Solutions is a new business venture between Tsiko Barberry Foundation and other companies, using technology and material imported from India to manufacture 100% compostable and affordable sanitary pads.
Stanlib analyst and Blossom Care partner Ahmed Motara noted that the initiative’s mission is to provide South African girls with access to sanitary products, since around 2.8-million young girls or women have no access to these types of products, with a further 200-million girls being “occasional users” when they can afford it.
Tsiko MD Anand Moodliar said community members had been trained to operate the Blossom Care machine at the Kago hub. Fourteen women have been selected to participate in various learnership and mentorship programmes and, once completed, will take ownership of Blossom Care at the hub.
A machine has been installed in a container on site to produce between 60 000 and 80 000 sanitary pads a month. Moodliar and Motara said they plan on bringing in two more machines to increase the manufacturing capacity to around 200 000 sanitary pads a month.
The sanitary pads would be sold to the community in packs of eight at affordable prices.
Traditionally, sanitary pads contain plastic, making it hard if not impossible to biodegrade, but the Blossom Care product biodegrades within 100 days.
Meanwhile, Buddibox CEO and founder Isaack Lesole said that its participation at the Kago hub would serve as a sales and distribution company for Tembisa, dubbing Buddibox the “African Amazon”.
He explained that the Buddibox container’s personnel will operate on a ratio of one employee to 200 households in Tembisa, with around ten young people employed in every ward. These employees will be responsible for taking households’ orders and managing their deliveries. Buddibox is able to supply whatever a household may need, from groceries, bus tickets, airtime and electricity to electronics at similar prices to a retail store, but without the queuing time.
For customer convenience, the Buddibox container at the Kago hub will compile a monthly hamper with basic necessities, such as vegetables and rice, which can be bought as a ready-made unit.
Additionally, Buddibox will enlist the help of willing community members with utility vehicles or bakkies to undertake deliveries at a fee, similar to how Uber Eats functions, eliminating the capital cost of delivery vehicles to Buddibox. This delivery concept also provides jobs to the community and provides big companies a way of accessing a remote customer.
By this time next year, 420 full-time jobs will have been created from the Kago hub, on the back of the existing infrastructure and the development of a SafeHub, which includes community social advancement features, such as a football field, school assistance offerings and emotional support, as community members need it.
The Kago hub consists of facilities to equip community members with skills and knowledge around farming, cooking, hospitality, financial literacy and computer skills, which were realised with investment from Nedbank, Unilever, Sanlam, Investec, Pepsico and Microsoft.
YES CEO Dr Tashmia Ismail-Saville on Tuesday said that, since the hub’s launch in June last year, it had assisted in training 780 young women and 547 young men and has more than 1 500 registered visitors a month.
Additionally, about 18 community-based companies have been registered with help from the hub, with 146 women receiving entrepreneurial (small business) training and 152 men receiving entrepreneurial training.
Through this hub, Ismail-Saville noted that Tembisa has become an exporter of fresh produce, supplying high-end restaurants and retail chains around Johannesburg. The hub now has 25 new urban farmers in its programme, learning how to be entrepreneurs and who will also move into container models.
“Once these farmers move into their own container model, they will each harvest around 5 500 plant sites (per container) in between two and seven weeks.”
Within a year from now, YES aims to have between six and eight hubs operational, all focusing on the development of commercial enterprises on site and in the community it serves. The ultimate objective of YES is to have 100 hubs across the country, with a million jobs created within the next few years. To date, YES has created 18 000 work opportunities for youths.
YES is a business-led initiative supported by government and labour that aims to empower one-million unemployed youth by offering them a first chance at a quality, paid work opportunity. The initiative was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in March 2018.