The Monitor :: Community bricks project thrives
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Last Updated
Tuesday 27 June 2017, 23:25 pm.
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Community bricks project thrives

LOBATSE: ďA dream doesnít become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.
By Tumie Modise Mon 13 Feb 2017, 18:00 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Community bricks project thrives








People should understand that to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication”.

These are the words of motivation, which drive Motlaakgosi Medupi, a 43-year-old community brick moulding project manager.

Medupi runs a successful Government-funded brick moulding business, which supplies residents with affordable bricks at their convenience. Every morning, Medupi and his team of 30 employees go to their site to manufacture hundreds of bricks before knocking off at lunchtime to focus on other projects.

Such determination, motivated by Lobatse town council’s financial injection, has saved a number of youths from the wrath of unemployment in Lobatse. Medupi said despite the fact that they do not have industrial brick moulding machines; they can put bread on the table at the end of the day.

He said the business started in 2010 after Lobatse Town Council offered them an operational space and startup capital under the poverty eradication funding. He said the business is doing fairly well, especially that they produce high quality bricks at an affordable price.

“We were funded by Lobatse Town Council in 2010 and we have managed to stabilise and run on our own as the community of Lobatse. We were allocated an operational space by the town council and they provided us with startup capital and we employ a total of 30 people.

“The business is doing fairly well. We now receive orders from individual buyers and sometimes construction companies buy from us. This business has changed lives. Our sales have bettered after we introduced double shifts per day and since then we have managed to run the project in full swing and maximise profits,” he said.

He said among other challenges, the business usually suffers setbacks of shortages of sand and water.

“There are several challenges. Amongst

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them challenges that threaten our success is that of sand shortage. Manufactured sand is very expensive, but it is the only alternative because sand mining is now illegal. We used to make more profits and now that we buy sand, we have declined in terms of returns.

 “The problem with manufactured sand is that it takes time to be delivered, sometimes weeks and that means production decline, consequently the profits. Another major challenge is that of water shortage. Sometimes we stay for days without water. We also have a challenge of shortage of shades, sometimes when it’s raining we cannot operate because the rain will destroy the bricks leading to loss,” he said.

One of the employees, Kabelo Oremeng said the community business has alleviated them from poverty and created jobs.

 “The incentive has helped some of us alleviate from poverty. It has helped youth here from roaming the streets. Despite challenges like shortage of water, high electricity bills and shortage of sand. We are doing well,” he said. During a tour of the facilities recently, Lobatse town council deputy town clerk, Oganne Gontse said the project is one of the few government poverty eradication success stories in Lobatse.

He further said apart from the project being a success, it has managed to make returns and at the same time it allows beneficiaries to juggle between the work and other personal projects.

“The project is special in the sense that it does not offer full time employment as such, it allows the beneficiaries to juggle between their personal projects and this project at the same time. Apart from brick moulding individual employees here have voluntarily set up gardens to supplement their income, something which government encourages other youths to do,” Gontse said.

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