Social development staff working in the region were on a daily basis confronted with extreme poverty in disadvantaged communities. Lack of education and skills prohibited mostly women to obtain employment. Driven by this observation, SPD started the Shosholoza Sewing project in 2009.


Thanks to an allocation from the NLDTF, sewing machines, overlockers, materials and other equipment could be acquired. Each of the 11 areas services by social workers, identified six women to be trained over 12 weeks. To date over 300 women have been trained, provided with their own sewing machine and set out to start their own business.

Ladies learning to cut materials


The course includes patter reading, designing & cutting, sewing of garments, fitting and pricing of products. During the course basic budgeting and business skills are taught. Once the course has been completed a qualified seamstress evaluates trainees and if they meet the standards, they are issued with certificates.


SPD’s employment official steps in during the course to assist with CV compilation and coaching for interviews. A number of trainees have been successfully employed as upholsterers, one group have started a curtain making business from home whilst another group won the tender to make uniforms for a  local school.


Soon they can sew…

and then their skills are evaluated to earn a certificate