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Economic Impact on blind and partially sighted entrepreneurs and workers at Sheltered and Protective Workshops due to National Lock Down as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic

Blind SA received numerous requests from blind and partially sighted entrepreneurs and workers from Sheltered and Protective Workshops for urgent assistance during the National Lock Down. These entrepreneurs were not able to produce their products and to sell them to earn the small incomes from sales. Other blind and partially sighted workers at the Sheltered and Protective Workshops receive an even smaller wage based on piece-rates. These incomes are generally below the poverty levels so that they can still qualify for Social Security Disability Grants. The Lock Down means that they do not now even get this pitiful amount.

Blind and partially sighted entrepreneurs who are operating micro small business such as piano tuning, basket weaving and cane furniture, bead and leather work, sewing and knitting and blending of household chemicals are no longer producing and are facing severe economic, social and psychological stress.

Blind SA launched an appeal to the public for support to help these blind and partially sighted beneficiaries by providing training in Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB), technical support and financial assistance.

Tommie Lehmkuhl, the chairperson of the Blind SA Economic Empowerment Committee who himself also underwent the SIYB training said “As Blind SA, we just could not stand by and let our fellow blind and partially sighted persons continue to live in dire poverty. We therefore agreed to provide training, technical support and financial assistance by establishing the Special Economic Fund”. Tommie urges the public, private sector and government to support this initiative by sending a SMS to 45345 and by pledging their financial support or technical assistance to improve the quality of lives of blind and partially sighted people to live a fulfilled life with respect, dignity and independence.”

Blind and partially sighted entrepreneurs or those persons who are at Sheltered and Protective Workshops and not earning any income and wish to receive training are requested to contact the Special Economic Fund at Blind SA on the contact details below.

or send a SMS or WhatsApp to the persons listed below.

Tommie Lehmkuhl Email: Mobile: 0828082812

Susan van Wyk  Email: Mobile: 0825776608

Parishna Ramluckan Email: Mobile: 0611454282

Listen to the above media release here

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