Manamela paid a visit to the Coastal College Skills Training Centre in Hammersdale on Wednesday, where students have been manufacturing low cost sanitary towels to respond to the demand for quality, locally manufactured and affordable sanitary towels by women in the province.
The Deputy Minister was accompanied by Higher Education and Training Health, Wellness and Development Centre’s, Dr Ramneek Ahluwalia.
The centre now trains young people from the community, who would also become distributors of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) approved sanitary towels, through cooperatives.
Manamela said the sanitary towels produced by TVET college students have the potential to make a difference to students, who are unable to afford sanitary towels.
“This is an example of optimal use of relevant resources to provide innovative training using leading technology to skill a diverse community and to manufacture quality products at the lowest possible price,” he said.
It has been widely reported that young girls, between the ages of 12 and 18 years, have resorted to using old clothes, rags, newspapers, leaves, bark and grass among others, because they cannot afford sanitary towels.
The use of these substitutes exposes the young women to serious health risks such as rashes and infections such as thrush, among other vaginal and urinary tract infections. If untreated, which is often the case, it leads to candida and a host of other fungal infections.
As such, young women are often forced to miss classes, and this impacts on their educational outcomes.