A stylish range of leather sandals with recycled tyres for soles have helped create 67 jobs in poor South African townships.
Branded as Plakkies, the tyres-turned-sandals were designed by well known Dutch shoe designer Jan Jansen and are already selling well.
The project is being organised by industrial design students at Holland’s Technical University of Delft. And the upside is that the South African factory which is manufacturing the footwear has had to take on dozens more staff from nearby townships to cope with the orders.
The Ubuntu Company, in Riverhorse Valley, has created jobs for 67 previously unemployed people from nearby townships who are producing leather sandals with soles made from recycled rubber tyres.
And the profits from the environmentally friendly project are being pumped into education, health and housing for the local community.
The flip-flops were launched with major fanfare in the Dam Square opposite the Royal Palace in Amsterdam last week.
At the official opening of the factory, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade Frank Heemskerk said the translation from an idea on paper to a fully functioning factory in just 12 months was a miracle which would provide a future for people from the local community.
GM Arafath Khan said the company was manufacturing between 750 and 800 pairs of sandals a day and expected to ramp up to 1000 pairs a day.
Katherine Clarkson, National Accounts