Brick firm to help fight poverty

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The problems of unemployment and poverty might soon be over for the Bathlabine community in Tzaneen, Limpopo, who are now partners in a multimillion rand brick manufacturing firm.

Hundreds of residents from the 29 villages sang and danced on Friday after the announcement of the partnership between Blue Platinum Ventures and the community.

The company closed down in 1999 after a workers' strike over wages. Most came from the local villages.

But the company reopened last September with new owners, who secured a mining permit with the help of provincial ANC leaders.

Chief executive Matome Maponya said the community and the employees would get a stake in the company. A big chunk of the profits would also be ploughed back into the community.

Maponya said the company employed about 200 people from impoverished families.

Nearly 7000 people attended the ceremony.