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Article Published In Vol.5 (Sept-Oct-2017)

The Impact of Bethelsdorp Hand Weavers (Pty) Limited on the Living standards of its Employees in Bethelsdorp, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Pages : 1041-1052

Author : Wanjugu Wachira, Deon Pretorious and Richard Haines

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This study aimed to investigate the impact of Bethelsdorp Hand Weavers (Pty) Limited on the living standards of its employees. The research adopted descriptive research design. Qualitative and quantitative findings were obtained. A total of 40 respondents were used for this study. Convenience sampling was adopted to select the sample population of the study. Data collected from interviews and open ended questionnaires were converted into meaningful data through adopting the use of qualitative content analysis. In addition, some of the data collected from questionnaires were captured, read and interpreted using a Computer-Aided Qualitative Data Analysis (CAQDA)) software program. Findings reveal that indeed Bethelsdorp Hand Weavers (Pty) Limited has had both a positive and negative impact on its employees while still in operation. Some of the benefits obtained by employees working at the weaving factory were; weaving skills, income, enrolling in adult education, training in social work, awareness and training programmes on cancer, tuberculosis (TB) and the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV). During seminars conducted, willing employees were tested at no cost among others. One key achievement was that The Kraal Gallery(TKG) and Bethelsdorp Hand Weavers (Pty) Limited in 2008 managed to scoop a gold ministerial award in South Africa as a best practices model in skills development among women, youth and people living with disabilities. The greatest challenge the Bethelsdorp Hand Weavers (Pty) Limited employees encountered in its operation was lack of continuous funding. In conclusion, several improvements that can be made to enhance the impact of the Bethelsdorp Hand Weavers (Pty) Limited were; exporting of woven rugs, increase of wages of weavers, improvement of the day care centre close to the weaving factory, and operation of staff cafeteria.

Keywords: Impact, weavers, women



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