June 2024 1st Edition

Improving life through jewellery making

Written by Keneilwe Velaphi

In 2010, Tshepo Mangoale acted on his vision to open his own jewellery company called Thabelang Jewellers cc.

This after he noticed a shortage in jewellery stores selling their own products in Limpopo. He seized the opportunity to become a jewellery manufacturer.

The 39-year-old’s journey began in 2006 when he enroled for a year-long jewellery programme at the Imfundiso Skills Development (ISD) in Cullinan, Gauteng.

Speaking to Vuk’uzenzele, the Lebowakgomo resident said he became passionate about jewellery-making especially since he was his family's only hope for a source of income.

His interest in jewellery-making was enhanced after working for a jewellery business owned by his former lecturer.

“I gained knowledge from him, that was how my passion for jewellery-making began,” he said.

“I mainly wanted to know how to repair jewellery. Manufacturing and repairing are not the same; in manufacturing, four rings can be made in a month, whereas in repair its quick,” he said.

He said he relies mostly on repair work to put food on his table.

“It is quite uncommon to discover a black person who is skilled in manufacturing, so as a black man, I want to make a name for myself in this field.”

In 2009, he enrolled in the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) incubation program in 2009 and remained in it until 2014.

“I chose to join this program because I wanted to own what is rightfully mine and I didn’t want to work for someone else,” he stated.

While at the incubator, Mangoale was able to purchase some much-needed equipment.

This was after he received a R50 000 grant from the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

“The NYDA grant was so helpful to me as it allowed me to purchase everything I needed for this business,” he said.

With the money, he was able to purchase two work benches, tools, and R10 000 worth of one kilogram of silver.

He added that although he had hired someone to work, constant power cuts forced him to let go of the employee because of reduced production and revenue.

Mangoale is planning to create more job opportunities, with a focus on the 30 to 45 age group since he believes that this group was neglected by the job market. 

For more information about Seda visit www.seda.org.za or call 0860 663 7867.

The NYDA can be contacted on www.nyda.gov.za or all 087 158 7991.

Contact ISD on +27 10 030 0888 or email them on mail@jewellersnetwork.co.za 

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