The medicine makers

The medicine makers

Meet The Cipla people at our Durban Factory.

Just fourteen kilometres from Durban’s CBD is Cipla’s MCC-approved GMP factory, a sprawling and very sophisticated facility. We paid a visit and spoke to some of the people who work there.

Raveshnee Kanniah, says: “I work in quality control and my job is a passion for me. I’m part of a team that saves people’s lives and we’re a service provider for the community.

Raveshnee, who is in the quality control department, says the factory employs 320 motivated, skilled individuals. “Everybody is so passionate about making medicine and maintaining quality.”

Here in Durban, the people of Cipla manufacture and test the products, which include numerous therapeutic classes of drugs, including combination ARVs – a very important product in South Africa.

Sithembiso Mite, an engineering technician, says he supports the Cipla ethos of caring for life. “That starts with our employees” he adds.

Sithembiso tells us that this is the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in KZN, with a floor space of 23 000 square meters.

While the environment may be strictly controlled and spotlessly clean, Sithembiso assures us that there’s still room for some fun at work. “My colleagues here are very nice,” he says. “They like cracking jokes every now and then and they’re easy to work with.”

He also praises Cipla’s engineering department. “They’re highly skilled individuals that make it easy for us as a team to perform our daily tasks.”

On our visit, we discover that this factory supplies 63% of Cipla South Africa’s tablet demand, and that 66% of the supplies from this site are for government.

We’re also told that this factory has a huge capacity. How huge is it, and how does

that affect quality control? Raveshnee explains:

“Our facility’s capacity is 900 million tablets and capsules per annum. Being in the quality department, I need to ensure that when this product goes out, it will be safe and of the highest quality, for the patient’s safety. We’re very strict about quality


Cipla’s staff seem really loyal. In fact, the average employee spends ten 10 years with the company. Nkululeko Mbesa tells us that he looks forward to being at work every day. “When I wake up in the morning I want to be here, because I know I’m helping to save people’s lives.”

And Sithembiso agrees: “I feel very proud every day, knowing that I saved a life just by working for Cipla.”

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