378 women smile again
Life is beginning to shape up for some of the 6000 permanent Sapekoe Tea Estate workers who were retrenched in 2004.
This after the Batlhabine Brickyard in Lenyenye, near Tzaneen, gave 378 women permanent jobs in the newly established brick manufacturing company.
The workers also own 5percent of the shares in the company, while the community of Batlhabine owns 20percent of the shares.
Most of the women work as drivers, producers and sorters.
During Sowetan's visit to the company on Women's Day, scores of women who had just been given jobs were dancing and ululating.
"When we lost our jobs in 2004 in Sapekoe, we felt empty and useless," Mapule Sekgobela, one of workers, said.
"Our children had to drop out of school and our furniture was repossessed.
"We prayed day and night for many years to God to provide us with jobs.
"But today we are able to speak a different language. We are back on our feet and will be able to give our children dignity and respect because we can provide for them again."
Another woman, Cate Maeko, of Mohlatlareng village, whose husband went missing in 1992, said life began to change for her since she started working for Batlhabine.
She said she no longer depended on handouts.