In an effort to address the ever-increasing unemployment problem facing South Africa’s youth and women, Mobicel has taken a different direction and launched its first mobile phone assembly plant in South Africa, employing about 65 young black women who submitted their matric certificates to qualify for a position and undergo an extensive training and inductions programme.
Mobicel was founded by Chief Executive, Ridhwan Khan who started his business repairing and selling phones. “He thought to himself that he would start his own brand called Mobicel and found supplies in China. As the company grew he wanted to start a plant in South Africa and have homegrown phones because you can’t say it’s a South African company but you only have phones that are imported,” Kay Sexwale speaking on behalf of Mobicel.
The assembly plant was launched in Midrand, which aims to empower the women. The new state-of-the-art facility has an in-house assembly line, a repair centre, a call centre and a helpline in addition to an extensive distribution network. Mobicel said it intended to steadily grow the assembly plant team by adding more women in the next coming months.
Khan said bringing the company’s assembly plant home to South Africa had been his visions since the brand was started.“When the moment arrived, we felt it had to be celebrated with our appreciation of the role that women play in building our society. Empowering young people has always been our strength,” he said.
Khan added that promoting gender equality and building up the skills of black women has been the country’s development agenda since 1994.“By focusing on employing young women, we at Mobicel are equipping them with the tools to make their own choices for active participation in the economy. In a society where women still face discrimination in their access to the labour market, we are doing our part to bridge the divide,” he said.
“We want to have the opportunity to empower black women with the struggles of our society. It’s the women that need to be controlling assets in a family, in terms of empowering and making sure that society goes on and it’s in the hands of women,” added Sexwale.
On the other hand, Mobicel was also officially endorsed as a Proudly South this month.“We are delighted to have Mobicel on board as they are demonstrating job creation in a high tech environment and showing that the country can manufacture highly sophisticated smart technology here on home soil,” Proudly South African’s chief executive Eustace Mashimbye said.
“Through our focus to do business responsibly as a 100% black-owned and managed company, we are keenly aware of our social responsibility to give back to society, particularly at this time in history whilst sticking to what we know best, which is connecting people,” noted Khan.