There is light on the horizon in South Africa. Even though it is well known that South Africa has an enormous unemployment challenge: there are solutions! According to the National Development Plan, one of the most powerful, elegant and easily scalable tools to reduce poverty, reduce inequality and ensure that all citizens have better working and living conditions is to see our economy grow by producing over 30 000 qualified artisans a year to meet labour demands.

Artisans are an integral part of all communities, whether in rural or large cities. There are countless jobs that only artisans can fulfil and that are crucial for the running of any society. As a sector, it generates incomes and provides important and unique skills development — particularly for women.

It is time for the narrative of artisans and artisanal training to change, one artisan at a time. We believe that if we work together, we can pave a brighter future for SA.

Below are six powerful opinion pieces written from different perspectives supporting the foundational beliefs and principles of REAP. Each of these supports our vision and are testimonials to the critical work we do.

There is light on the horizon in South Africa. Even though it is well known that South Africa has an enormous unemployment challenge: there are solutions! According to the National Development Plan, one of the most powerful, elegant and easily scalable tools to reduce poverty, reduce inequality and ensure that all citizens have better working and living conditions is to see our economy grow by producing over 30 000 qualified artisans a year to meet labour demands.

Artisans are an integral part of all communities, whether in rural or large cities. There are countless jobs that only artisans can fulfil and that are crucial for the running of any society. As a sector, it generates incomes and provides important and unique skills development — particularly for women.

It is time for the narrative of artisans and artisanal training to change, one artisan at a time. We believe that if we work together, we can pave a brighter future for SA.

Below are six powerful opinion pieces written from different perspectives supporting the foundational beliefs and principles of REAP. Each of these supports our vision and are testimonials to the critical work we do.

01

“We are extremely committed to skills development, particularly artisan and apprenticeship development. We think South Africa needs strong technical skills to grow our economy combined with entrepreneurial education. We call on the private sector to provide support and mentoring to our artisans so that they not only succeed but excel.”

SAnews.gov.za

02

“Artisanal skills are multi-faceted and sought-after. Artisans should be given the opportunity to work with a mentor. There are industry experts who are keen to impart their skills and knowledge and give the required support in all other areas as well. These willing mentors need to be accessed.”

Letitia van Rensburg, Master Builders’ Association. (The associations’ members handle 70 % of all building in Cape Town and employ a similar percentage of the workforce.)

03

“We know that there is a stable, cyclical resistant market for plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and other SMMEs in the skill trades sector. We also know that many operate in the informal sector, there is a great need and opportunity to support their formalization. However, less than 5% of the 150 incubators or business development organisations focus on artisan-based businesses.”

tvetcolleges.co.za, Department of Higher Education and Training

04

“We need to look at jobs created and community investment models and we need supporters with an appetite for impact-creation. Supporting these kinds of businesses has broad societal benefits. Who benefits when we have an ecosystem of small businesses that are doing well, or when we have reliable service delivery and maintenance? The answer is that we all do.”

Simphiwe Mntambo, Ventures Manager at the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Endowment

05

The Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation (CRF) launched its Artisan Programme at Diepsloot Combined School in Gauteng.

“We believe that artisans are a fundamental part of the future prosperity of South Africa,” said Mmabatho Maboya, Strategy and Partnerships Executive at CRF. “Artisans can become drivers of economic growth and create decent and meaningful jobs through entrepreneurship” Maboya explained.

“South Africa is suffering from a severe shortage of skilled artisans. Thus, the Department of Higher Education declared 2014 to 2024 the Decade of the Artisan The scarcity of artisans affects both public and private sectors”.

cyrilramaphosafoundation.org

06

“We are all concerned about the need to raise the level of education of all our people and in particular to increase the number of black technicians, artisans and other skilled persons. This would make a decisive contribution to the critical issue of the level of productivity in the economy as a whole. It would also place the issue of the relative and absolute increase of income accruing to the black section of our population a priority.”

Extract: Nelson Mandela’s address to South African business executives: Options for Building an Economic Future

07

Expanding opportunities in the Township Economy

Artisanal roles account for around 2 million jobs (12% of all employment) in the South African economy, of which 736,000 are occupied by young people.  Two-thirds of these jobs are in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

This programme aims to support township-based artisanal entrepreneurs to expand and grow their businesses, through increased market access, funding and support, on the condition that they train and hire young people in IRM occupations. The focus of business activities could include:

– Plumbers
– Electricians
– General Maintenance / Handymen
– Automotive Mechanics and Autobody Repairers (Panelbeaters)
– Domestic Appliance Repairers

Repairs of other electronic goods

Through the creation and implementation of an Incentive Fund, the programme will over a 5-year period support a minimum of 1,450 township Artisanal SMEs and create 3,625 new jobs for young people in these SMEs.

The focus of the SME  Supplier Programme will be primarily in large townships within the major metropolitan areas of Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

nbi.org.za/economic-inclusion/

08

01

“We are extremely committed to skills development, particularly artisan and apprenticeship development. We think South Africa needs strong technical skills to grow our economy combined with entrepreneurial education. We call on the private sector to provide support and mentoring to our artisans so that they not only succeed but excel.”

SAnews.gov.za

02

“Artisanal skills are multi-faceted and sought-after. Artisans should be given the opportunity to work with a mentor. There are industry experts who are keen to impart their skills and knowledge and give the required support in all other areas as well. These willing mentors need to be accessed.”

Letitia van Rensburg, Master Builders’ Association. (The associations’ members handle 70 % of all building in Cape Town and employ a similar percentage of the workforce.)

03

“We know that there is a stable, cyclical resistant market for plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and other SMMEs in the skill trades sector. We also know that many operate in the informal sector, there is a great need and opportunity to support their formalization. However, less than 5% of the 150 incubators or business development organisations focus on artisan-based businesses.”

tvetcolleges.co.za, Department of Higher Education and Training

04

“We need to look at jobs created and community investment models and we need supporters with an appetite for impact-creation. Supporting these kinds of businesses has broad societal benefits. Who benefits when we have an ecosystem of small businesses that are doing well, or when we have reliable service delivery and maintenance? The answer is that we all do.”

Simphiwe Mntambo, Ventures Manager at the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Endowment

05

The Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation (CRF) launched its Artisan Programme at Diepsloot Combined School in Gauteng.

“We believe that artisans are a fundamental part of the future prosperity of South Africa,” said Mmabatho Maboya, Strategy and Partnerships Executive at CRF. “Artisans can become drivers of economic growth and create decent and meaningful jobs through entrepreneurship” Maboya explained.

“South Africa is suffering from a severe shortage of skilled artisans. Thus, the Department of Higher Education declared 2014 to 2024 the Decade of the Artisan The scarcity of artisans affects both public and private sectors”.

cyrilramaphosafoundation.org

06

“We are all concerned about the need to raise the level of education of all our people and in particular to increase the number of black technicians, artisans and other skilled persons. This would make a decisive contribution to the critical issue of the level of productivity in the economy as a whole. It would also place the issue of the relative and absolute increase of income accruing to the black section of our population a priority.”

Extract: Nelson Mandela’s address to South African business executives: Options for Building an Economic Future

07

Expanding opportunities in the Township Economy

Artisanal roles account for around 2 million jobs (12% of all employment) in the South African economy, of which 736,000 are occupied by young people.  Two-thirds of these jobs are in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

This programme aims to support township-based artisanal entrepreneurs to expand and grow their businesses, through increased market access, funding and support, on the condition that they train and hire young people in IRM occupations. The focus of business activities could include:

– Plumbers
– Electricians
– General Maintenance / Handymen
– Automotive Mechanics and Autobody Repairers (Panelbeaters)
– Domestic Appliance Repairers

Repairs of other electronic goods

Through the creation and implementation of an Incentive Fund, the programme will over a 5-year period support a minimum of 1,450 township Artisanal SMEs and create 3,625 new jobs for young people in these SMEs.

The focus of the SME  Supplier Programme will be primarily in large townships within the major metropolitan areas of Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

nbi.org.za/economic-inclusion/

08