Packaging solidarity in Soweto
As part of the Solidarity Sourcing programme, South Africa has chosen to engage with the Soweto Workshop for the Blind. This centre, located in the country’s largest township (1 million inhabitants) where the unemployment rate exceeds 50%, provides work for approximately thirty blind and visually impaired people.
In April 2013, after first appraising the working conditions in the workshop, L’Oréal began outsourcing plastic shrink-wrapping of its products to the site. Between April and October 2013, nearly 500,000 colouring products were shipped to the workshop for processing, generating revenue of some 12,000 euros and labour on average for 4 employees. “It’s a small contribution in providing work opportunities for people with disabilities, but we’re nonetheless proud of it,” says Lebogang Tlale, Purchasing Manager for L’Oréal South Africa. In 2014, the project was expanded, with increased turnover and additional employment of people.