In the Western Cape, the PROUDLY MACASSAR POTTERY PROJECT (proudly funded by the National Arts Council, through the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP)) is a social enterprise that seeks to upskill, employ and incubate unschooled youth at their township-based, employee-owned ceramic factory.
From a small, two-room studio, bouncing with activity, a few years ago, Macassar has grown to a fully-fledged business that offers a design-to delivery service to local retailers.
With eight interns employed, there was no question of jobs being lost; the intrepid team even provides psycho-social support interventions to their staff members.
We received funding for an innovative process that combines community classes (for unskilled and unschooled youth) with product development and an internship. We are designing new product ranges based on their work, and then provide a six-week learnership so they can learn how to create the new ranges themselves. As our business grows, we will be able to absorb some of the interns into full-time positions.
The project’s long-term plan is to extend preincubation outreach in the form of community art classes to be able to absorb more young people. The project is currently growing a fully-fledged, Township-based ceramic school that will provide skilled labour to South Africa’s ceramic studios.