MISSION STATEMENT: To create a financially stable organization in order to viably employ and empower disabled and disadvantaged members of the community
SLOGAN: “YOUR DREAM, OUR VISION” spells out our desire to fulfil the dreams of our clients as far as production, timeousnes and quality service are concerned and simultaneously fulfilling the dreams of a better quality of life for our employees.
We are in the people business. Our aim is to give people a renewed purpose in life whilst earning a living. There is a history of people who lost their way because of their disability and how this “home” gave them a reason to become worthy citizens again.
The Organisation is managed by a Voluntary Board of Directors who freely gives their knowledge, expertise and time as a token of care and gratitude.
The Managing Director of the Company has 44 years’ experience, a person who dedicated her life to the cause through trials and tribulations and has, with her team, built the organisation to what it is today.
UNIQUE SELLING POINTS:
The Workshop prides itself on top quality products and service. The Workers and staff are fully aware of the fact that we are generally being viewed as “second class” by the business sector. The aim of this Workshop has always been to work away from the “old house” idea that exists about Workshops for the Disabled, by creating products and a showroom that will wow members of the public when they walk through the door.
Permanent staff: 91
Total years of service: 791
Race:17 White / 74 Black
Sex: 57 Female / 34 Male
Up to 150 contract workers, mainly black females and 30% disabled persons, are employed on demand.
The main purpose of the Pretoria Workshop for the Blind is to economically empower people with disabilities and the unskilled. This is done by training people and providing them with a job opportunity in one of the companies. Since this is a work place and not a care centre, the employees are expected to make their own transport arrangements to get to work every day. This fosters a sense of responsibility towards the job and shows equal respect for the persons with disabilities.
The organisation is keen to show society what people with disabilities can achieve if given the opportunity. It is thus important that the quality of products is on par with or higher than that produced by mainstream businesses. Management believes that this is a more sustainable way of impacting on the lives of the employees and their families. The Social enterprise also launched a profit-sharing scheme for staff in order to promote a sense of ownership in the company.
Pretoria Workshop (DreamHouse Workshop) consists of two Companies:
Pretoria Workshop for the Blind- Section 21 Company Not for Gain- Registration 96/00079/08
This Workshop undertakes:
Packaging and Assembly
Folding of flat stock and sealing
Any other labour intensive work
The Greener Fertilizer Option (Pty) Ltd – Registration 2003/008965/07- Fully taxable
The Greener Fertilizer undertakes:
The extruding of fertilizer sticks for pot plants which are packaged, sealed, boxed and exported to Europe.
The Workshop owns the property and equipment, is responsible for all the overheads and employs all the staff. It also provides a full admin service to the taxable company in return for a management fee. The Social enterprise’s income is made up of sales, subsidies, donations and management fees. The taxable company pays its own production costs, wages and any other direct costs. All profits from the latter are donated to the Workshop, after tax, to cover the costs of overheads.
Due to the diversity, talents and capabilities of the workforce, the employees are paid on a “pay for performance” basis. All tasks have a value and it is up to individuals to work to their own ability and earn a wage according to their output. Members of the workforce who are severely disabled and cannot earn the minimum wage through their own efforts are paid a higher percentage piece-rate than their sighted counterparts to make up the difference. This way people are not stripped of their dignity and “bread winner” status.
CTP Cartons and labels – Folding flat stock into a pail and sealing the ends to secure the container for Nando’s worldwide
CTP Stationery- Promotional packaging of various products
Kimberley Clarke – Packing of female products
Kombat –Manufacturing of blisters, packing of Rats and Mice poison into blister and sealing onto display card.
Radiant Lighting – repacking of fluorescent tubes and shrink-wrapping
Starke Ayres – Supply and package fertilizer for the local market
Talborne Organics – Packaging of fertilizer sticks into zip-lock bags.
The Greener Fertilizer Option – Manufacturing of blisters, packing of gro-sticks into blisters, sealing onto display card, packing into outer boxes, containerise and export to Europe.
Trefoil –Weighing, packaging and labelling of elastic bands into small boxes.
Skygistics- Manufacturing of plastic control boxes.
The manufacturing of blisters as well as assembling and packaging of components for various clients
FUTURE ENDEAVOURS AND NEW VENTURES:
We will have follow up reports on the above as time frames are not possible at present.
CHALLENGES AND NEEDS:
Although the Workshop does its best to pay their disabled workforce a viable wage, there is much that can be done by “Social Services” to assist disabled people with public transport. Transport is a problem for disabled people, it is expensive, the bus drivers are not helpful, the busses and trains are overfull and dangerous. Special assistance is necessary and can make a huge difference in reaching the places of possible employment.
It must be understood that this Workshop is doing it utmost to become self-sufficient, but there will always be special needs for disabled people that is not the case in a normal business setup. The subsidy from the Department assists in augmenting the wages of multiple disabled people to ensure a viable income. It is impossible to recover these costs from the income of sales.
The Workshop is planning to increasingly assist its disabled workers in contributing more towards their Provident Fund to build up an adequate Retirement Fund. In the same way the Workshop is looking into introducing an affordable Sick Fund for its workers that will ease their access to doctors, dental care and operations. Without the aid from the Department this will not be possible
AWARDS AND ACCOLADES:
The Workshop received several awards for its achievements:
The CEO has been awarded:
OTHER RELEVANT IFORMATION:
This Workshop believes that it created a business model that can be copied by similar organisations for the Disabled.
Our beautiful, modern building with its “Wall of Light” (for those in the dark) has been an inspiration to many other similar institutions and has given them a challenge to do likewise.