City supports Khayelitsha women in turning skills into business

07 Sep 2022 in Where We Govern

The City of Cape Town is supporting women in Khayelitsha to make traditional garments and to turn this skill into a viable business.

A project to teach economically marginalised women how to run a traditional clothing business is currently under way in Harare, Khayelitsha. The project forms part of the Community Development Worker (CDW) programme in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Local Government.

Ten women will benefit from the training which involves a sewing and beadwork component, as well as business skills such as basic accounting, negotiating, marketing, communication, and planning. An amount of R120 000 in support is provided to the women.

Participants will produce ceremonial and traditional items normally worn by Xhosa, Ndebele, Swati, and Sesotho tribes.  Material offcuts will also be recycled to ensure nothing is wasted and profit is maximised.

This project builds on the work done in Mfuleni last year where youth were trained in traditional bead craft to take advantage of the local market for traditional beads.

‘We are excited to play a role in unlocking the potential of marginalised women as business owners. Our communities are full of potential business owners who have the desire and discipline to succeed, but these residents sometimes need a helping hand to set them on course. Business also inevitably comes with financial risk, so this kind of assistance is invaluable in giving residents the confidence to accept this risk and pursue their dreams.

‘Traditional items being made represent the proudness of culture, and reflect the diversity of our country in a way that is fitting for Heritage Month,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Waste Management, Alderman Grant Twigg.

An exhibition day is planned for Monday, 26 September 2022 at the iThemba Learning Centre in Harare where the community can meet the participants and purchase their goods. The women will also be marketing via social media with the guidance of the CDW programme.