Kapula

Kapula-Team

 

Profile of CONTIGO´s partner Kapula

Products

Bredasdorp to Göttingen (Source: Google Earth)

Candles and ceramics

BAVU sandblasted glass lanterns from recycled winebottles

Location

Bredasdorp, province Western Cape, South Africa – distance to Europe: 9,600m

Founded in 1994

History

  • Ilse Appelgryn loses her teaching job during apartheid and decides to revive the family business, candle making
  • 1996: Hiring of 6 employees
  • 1998: First delivery to Berlin/Germany
  • 1999: Opening of Kapula-Gallery in Bredasdorp
  • 2000: Number of employees rises to 40
  • 2000: Participation in Expo 2000 World Fair in Hannover/Germany
  • 2000: Ilse Appelgryn receives award (KAP from Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Cape Town)
  • 2000: CONTIGO meets Kapula through a German church community
  • 2003: Start of ceramics production (hand painted)
  • 2006: Employee number rises to 250
  • 2008: Most successful year due to partnering with large clients such as UNICEF
  • 2009: Worldwide economic crisis leads to loss of many larger customers
  • 2010: Year of big changes (problems and conflicts with a German minority shareholder)
    • February: Kapula is closed down
    • April: Restructuring with the help of CONTIGO as well as German and Austrian Fairtrade and worldshops: a new beginning with large orders from CONTIGO and Woolworth South Africa
    • December: Payment of bonuses to employees
  • February 2011: First annual report since reconstruction verifies a positive outcome
  • Since January 2012: New ceramic bisque factory with modern tunnel furnace is established
  • Improvement of sanitary facilities
  • 2015: Certified member of WFTO (=World Fair Trade Organisation, guaranteed member)
  • February 2016: Take-over of the ceramic factory Intshiba, also in Bredasdorp, adoption of all 17 ladies (bisque makers, painters), provided with ordinary working contracts, all social benefits und regular and punctual payments and other benefits of the Kapula culture
  • May 2017: Take-over of another ceramic manufacturing company, which is threatened with closure, with 16 employees and equipment
  • 2018: Kapula invests in new production equipment:
    • second blunger (mixing machine for clay)
    • second holdingtank for ready mixed clay
    • two further dryers for the drying room (for faster drying of bisque moulds)

Kapula is the leading producer of handmade ceramics in South Africa.

 

Cooperation with CONTIGO since 2000

Structure of the business

Kapula30

Number of employees:

174 employees

  • 13 employees in middle management, thereof 12 women
  • 43 employees have been working at Kapula for over 10 years
  • 19 employees have been working at Kapula for less than one year
  • 64 women are single mothers
  • 52 women earn the basic income (bread winner) for their families
  • 64 employees have proprietary

Work environment:

7 sections:

  • Handcraft (production of candles, casting of blank shapes) – 18 employees
  • Hand painting (painting of candles) – 13 employees
  • Two bisque factories (production of bisque ware for ceramic) – 33 employees
  • Two ceramic factories for painting and glazing – 61 employees
  • Packaging store (packaging and shipment) – 9 employees
  • Gallery (showroom and retail outlet) – 2 employees
  • Administration, sales and accounting – 17 employees

Work equipment and organisation of workforce:

  • Both bisque factories have 23 kilns, three more can be started up (depends on power supply)
  • Work division in the departments:
    • Supervisor organises every single production step in the department and on the tables, depends on individual skills. Trouper helps new employees
    • Supervisor keeps records of attendance and daily production
  • Regular meetings and agreements with supervisors and responsible persons of every department:
    • Every Monday: production meeting
    • Every Tuesday: meeting of the middle management with the responsible persons of every department
  • Cross training of employees to be skilled in more than one work discipline: trouper teach new employees and re-educate other employees (e.g. from candle painting to ceramic painting)

Sales

Handpaint_2

  • Exports (45%)
    • Predominantly to Germany
    • Small orders from Austria, UK, Denmark, Italy, U.S.A., Australia, Sweden
  • Home market (55%)
  • 25% of Kapula business is from CONTIGO purchases

Goals

  • To introduce a pension scheme
  • To establish online marketing
  • To early amortise the loans given for the new start in 2010 by CONTIGO and the German and Austrian worldshops

Special features

  • Recycling:
    • Wax scraps are recycled:
      • Selling on to a producer of wax crayons
      • Production of BBQ charcoal lighters
      • Selling on to beekeeper
    • Ceramic scraps (remains and cracks) are pelletised and can be added to the ceramic pourable compound again
  • Awards:
    • 2000: Ilse Appelgryn receives the “The Black Management Forum’s Western Cape Entrepreneur of the Year” award

 

Why does CONTIGO work with Kapula: Long-standing cooperation and very close relationship. Attractive ranges, constant innovation of design and selection. Continuous quality improvement. Deep social commitment for its employees and important employer in the region.

 

Fairtrade classification

FTA PLUS = Fairtrade Approved PLUS

 

Fairtrade aspects

Kapula complies with the following Fairtrade Principles:

No child labour

No discrimination

No discrimination due to gender, disability, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political orientation, or infection with HIV

Employees from different ethnic groups (Coloureds and Xhosa) have been working at Kapula for many years.

Fair wages

  • South African minimum wage (since January 2019): ZAR 3,500 / month (ZAR = South African Rand)
  • Wages at Kapula:
    • Minimum wage for beginners: ZAR 3,550 / month
    • Later: gradual wage increase (depending on skill and experience)
    • Employees in production: ZAR 3,550 – 4,500 / month
  • Employees receive a monthly fixed wage
  • On the last Friday of a month: wages are paid into employees´ own bank accounts
  • In case of overtime: compliance with Labour Law on overtime rates (x 1.5 on working day, x 2 on Saturdays)
  • Bonus payment at the end of the year: ZAR 500-800 / employee
  • In July of each year wage negotiations take place: wages are adjusted to match and better the official inflation rate
    • 2017: average inflation rate is 5.43%, wage increase at Kapula: 8%
    • 2016: inflation rate is 6.48%, wage increase for management: 5%, lower wage groups: 15.3% , averaged salary increase: 8.9%

 

Humane working conditions

Kapula21

Working hours:

  • 8.5 hours / day
  • Working hours: 8 am – 5:30 pm, Monday – Thursday, Friday: 8 am – 3:30 pm
  • 2 breaks (breakfast: 10 – 10:15 am, lunch: 1 – 1:45 pm)
  • 5 days / week

Social benefits:

All employees receive the following benfits:

  • Contributions are paid to governmental UIF (= Unemployment Insurance Fund), employee and employer pay each 1% of monthly gross salary
  • Kapula pays an accident insurance for all employees
  • Paid leave:
    • Holidays: 15 working days and public holidays (company holidays: 15.12. – 11.01.)
    • Employees who have been with Kapula for over 7 years receive 2 more extra holidays
    • Compassionate leave of 3 days per year
  • Wage continuation:
    • In case of sickness: 30 days paid sick leave over a three year cycle (thereafter UIF pays appr. 75 % of salary)
    • Maternity leave (one month before due date and three months after birth): Kapula pays one week wage continuation, thereafter UIF pays the rest, appr. 38-60% of average income of the last six months, depending on income level)
  • Health care:
    • Company agreement with local surgeries about medical services of employees (and their families): private medical service costs appr. ZAR 300-400 incl. drugs, costs are paid by Kapula and will be deducted from monthly income in small instalments
    • Health care service in public clinics and hospitals are free of cost for everyone
  • Common celebrations and activities to strengthen the good working atmosphere


Educational opportunities:

  • Regular trainings and further educations for “occupational safety”, “fire protection” and “First Aid”
  • Paid leave for further education courses
  • In-house training is done between factories, multi-skilling of employees

Occupational safety:

  • Working gear and protective clothing is provided
  • Mandatory safety committee is available
  • Regular safety and fire drills
  • Every factory has its own trained first aiders and safety representative

Transparency

  • Work contracts are available
  • Payroll is available
  • Pay slips are available
  • Annual report submitted to CONTIGO
  • SAR (Self Assessment Report) was duly submitted to CONTIGO

 

Monitoring

  • Personal visits in Bredasdorp (2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2017)
  • Feedback interview during several visits in Germany
  • Member of World Fair Trade Organisation WFTO (Guaranteed Member) since 2015
  • Regular social and safety audits by Kapula´s biggest customer in South Africa (Woolworth)

 

Country information

See Encyclopaedia Britannica: South Africa

 

Photos

Visiting Kapula – November 2017

Ceramics Werkstatt Handpaint_1 Handcraft2 Handcraft1 Ceramics_ladies Guss

Visiting Kapula – February – March 2012

The new furnace – January 2012

Visit February 2011

Bonus payment 2010

Visit August 2010

Visit February 2010

Visit 2007

Author: Janina Lange on 31. January 2019
Category:

Last articles