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A Paarl-based job creation project, that enjoys a royal stamp of approval for its luxurious products, was visited by a top municipal and craft delegation last week.
The party included the Portfolio Councillor for Local Economic Development, Dr Thys Smith, and the Municipal Manager of the Drakenstein Municipality, Johann Mettler. The Cape Craft and Design Institute, with its headquarters in Cape Town, was represented by the Programmes Director, Mariette Williams, and colleagues. Antoinette Vermooten, Chief Executive Officer, Bayede!, represented the job creation project.
They were visiting the Yoliswa project, in the Mbekweni township, which is part of the Bayede! Marketing project. A variety of Bayede! (Hail to the King’ in Zulu) luxury products was showcased. These included wine, rooibos tea, bed linen, handbags and pottery, all decorated with locally produced beadwork.
The Yoliswa project is among 80 entities that benefit directly and indirectly from a project endorsed by His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu and Her Royal Highness, Queen Mantfombi Zulu. They have a warrant to display the royal arms and carry the legend By appointment on the products. Key features are quality, originality and job creation.
The visitors and Bayede! were celebrating two recent business highlights: more investment funding to grow the enterprise, and a massive order to embellish bottles of wine destined for China.
The investment funding, from the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) Jobs Fund programme, follows the CCDI’s successful application for project funding through the Jobs Fund’s first Enterprise Development funding window. Bayede! is one of over 30 Western Cape craft enterprises to receive investment funding worth R14.5 million over the next three years. This funding should create 451 sustainable, long-term jobs overall in the craft and design sector.
The export order is for over 35 000 bottles of wine, each decorated with colourful beadwork by the local women, destined for Walmart China.
The municipality’s Cllr. Thys Smith said: “The municipality is committed to sustainable economic development initiatives that enable ordinary citizens to meaningfully contribute and participate in the broader economic development of an area, as well as in their own economic upliftment. Drakenstein municipality fully supports this initiative and applauds those residents of Mbekweni who take their development into their own hands.”
The CCDI’s Mariette Williams said: “It was inspiring to see craft used in the making of such high end, sophisticated products. Handmade goods have increasing appeal and it’s wonderful to know that these special African creations will be appreciated by new, discerning customers.”
Bayede! CEO Antoinette Vermooten said: "The beadwork adorning Bayede! wines puts food on many tables in rural areas. The additional funding and this huge export order will provide many more opportunities for previously unemployed people to generate a sustainable income in difficult times.”
Seen visiting the Yoliswa project are (L to R): Yoliswa Fuma from Yolisa Beading Projects,
Antoinette Vermooten, CEO of Bayede, Deputy Mayor of Drakenstein, Conrad Poole,
Dr Thys Smith, Portfolio Councillor for Local Economic Development, Municipal Manager of the Drakenstein Municipality, Johann Mettler, and Mariette Williams, Programmes Director, CCDI.
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