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SA Government | 17 May 2023

Supported Employment Enterprises (SEE) in another dialogue on transitioning of Persons with Disabilities

The Supported Employment Enterprises (SEE) is changing gear to partner various economic stakeholders to help transition Persons with Disabilities (PwD) as they transit from school into the labour market.

Phakathi said not everyone is academically gifted, some learners are good at vocational training. He said SEE wants to dispel the notion that if one does not have matric there was no future.

Phakathi was speaking during a workshop titled: Transitioning from Education to Work for Persons with Disabilities. The workshop was held at ANEW Hotels & Resorts: Hunters Rest in Rustenburg, North West. The workshop is part of the Education for Employability (E4E) programme supported by the European Union (EU).

SEE has been holding the workshops as part of a dialogue to devise strategy for intervention to assist transition PwD into the labour market. To date three workshops have been held.

The latest workshop was attended by stakeholders which include the Department of Basic Education, Department of Higher Education and Training, Department of Employment and Labour, Compensation Fund, representatives from special schools and non-governmental organisations.

“We want to take a community-centred approach towards policy, hence the consultations with people involved at the coal face of learning. We want a solution-based approach to ensure the employability of persons with disabilities.

According to Phakathi: “We are no longer interested in compliance – we want commitment. We are now changing gears and want to approach business to work together,” he said, “not everyone will end up in employment. We need to provide entrepreneurial skills – make the young people commanders of their own lives.”

He said the focus in assisting PwD should be on ability abilities, rather than disabilities. Phakathi said for the North West province the economic output of this province was not reflected in the employment numbers. He said the province has one of the highest unemployment rates. Phakathi said there was an economic value in the employment of people with disability. He said the SEE proposal to various stakeholders was to partner with SEE, help drive local content and promote the employability of the PwD.

The E4E programme was started in 2019 and slowed down due to COVID-19 outbreak. The E4E is a programme that was designed to find ways to ensure that youth have the skills to find or create meaningful and decent employment when they transition to the labour market.

E4E is a three-model stream initiative. It is implemented by three Departments – the Department of Basic Education, the Department of Higher Education and Training, and the Department of Employment and Labour. The programme seeks to ensure the Departments collaborate to ensure youth receive the education and skills needed for today’s labour market.

Department of Employment and Labour Chief Director: Public Employment Services, Esther Tloane said the low absorption rate of PwD in the labour market was worrying. Tloane said PwD need to be given the opportunity, especially those willing and capable. SEE is an entity of the Department of Employment and Labour, established to provide job opportunities for persons with disabilities. The Supported Employment Enterprises was established in 1943 and was formerly known as Sheltered Employment Factories (SEF). The entity has 13 factories across South Africa operating in eight of the nine provinces, with only Mpumalanga without a facility.

The SEE factories are located in Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, East London, Johannesburg, Kimberly, Pietermaritzburg, Port Elizabeth, Potchefstroom, Pretoria and Seshego. The factories employ 1100 persons with disability who are supported by administration, management and technical staff. The entity manufactures office furniture, school furniture, hospital clothes, office safes and gates.

For more information, contact: Teboho Thejane Departmental Spokesperson Cell: 082 697 0694

E-mail: sends e-mail)

Issued by: Department of Employment and Labour

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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