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A look at how collaboration creates job opportunities for artisans living in Cape Town townships

Published Jan 15, 2022

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According to a recent publication by The World Bank, South Africa’s economy can significantly benefit from entrepreneurs and self-employment in solving the current job crisis post the Covid-19 Global Pandemic.

The unimaginable devastation left in the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic has affected food, housing and job security. It is therefore that the two organisations have decided to collaborate and create a partnership between Ikamva Labantu’s social enterprise venture, Ikamva Design and Yebo Fresh to provide job and business opportunities for local crafters, seniors and women living in townships.

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Created by co-founders and volunteers Maria Matseke and Melanie Peterhans, Ikamva Design is a social enterprise endeavour that seeks to increase job opportunities for local artisans. From traditional beaded jewellery to handbags made from bottle caps, participants at Ikamva Labantu’s seniors' clubs continuously find original ways to pay tribute to their heritage and craft whilst supplementing their monthly pensions through selling handmade goods.

Ikamva Design products are now available on the Yebo Fresh online shop and showcases a range of handmade, original creations designed and crafted by Ikamva Labantu community members. A purchase directly supports many seniors who raise large families on a monthly pension.

“From the start of the pandemic, Ikamva Labantu worked hand in hand with dedicated community leadership who set up their own neighbourhood feeding kitchens in response to the growing hunger and starvation. Food supplies were purchased from Yebo Fresh, who sanitised all the orders and promptly delivered fresh food at the best prices to these kitchens. Hunger was lessened and people were filled with hope and communities were able to thrive,” said Ikamva Labantu General Manager, Ishrene Davids.

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Local non-profit Ikamva Labantu, meaning ‘Future of the People”, and Yebo Fresh, a local township food supplier and delivery service, initially partnered for the Covid-19 emergency food relief project in order to source, sanitise, package and deliver nutritious food requirements across Cape Town township communities.

“We first started working with Ikamva Labantu during the height of the Covid-19 crisis early 2020, when Yebo Fresh was asked to support their life-saving emergency food relief work from a supply and deliver perspective. I never could have imagined back then where our partnership would be today.

Since then we have sourced, packed and delivered over 100,000 food parcels for vulnerable families together, and in the last year alone over 850 tons of grains and legumes and an incredible 125,000 tins of fish passed through our warehouse on behalf of Ikamva Labantu’s kitchens.

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I am so excited that we are now about to launch the next phase of our cooperation, where the stunning artwork of Ikamva Labantu can easily be ordered online so that a large number of people can enjoy these beautiful products and support this fantastic project,” said Yebo Fresh CEO and Founder, Jessica Boonstra.

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