By Emily Setona
QWAQWA –The Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) on Wednesday wound up a four-day training workshop that was aimed at exploring the competencies needed for cooperatives to thrive.
Cooperatives are vital for boosting the economy, creating jobs and generating profits.
Alex Adjei of SEDA facilitated the cooperative skills workshop which saw him sharing key information with participants, who are in the process of forming cooperatives.
“Cooperatives are important for the economy of South Africa; they create jobs and government is there to assist such initiates,” Adjei said.
A business man who resides in the community of Maluti-a-Phofung (MAP), Philemon Thebele, who is keen to start an agricultural cooperative, has liaised with SEDA in order to receive assistance in that regard.
“I have been contacting SEDA offices for the past few months and it is during this month of November that they have decided to assist,” Thebele said.
Part of the preamble of the Co-operatives ACT 14 of 2005 recognizes the cooperative values of self-help, self-reliance, self-responsibility, democracy, equality and social responsibility; that a viable, autonomous, self-reliant and self-sustaining cooperative movement can play a major role in the economic and social development of South Africa, in particular by creating employment, generation income, facilitating broad-based black economic empowerment eradicating poverty; that the South African economy will benefit from increasing the number and variety of viable and sustainable economic enterprises; that government is committed to providing a supportive legal environment to enable cooperatives to develop and flourish.
Thebele’s vision is aligned with the values outlined in the Act’s preamble.
Mamokete Mofokeng is a self-employed restaurateur who sells food in her community of Makeneng. She had this to say: “I came to this workshop because I would like to be part of a cooperative and be part of a team of people who are motivated to work together and support each other in business,” Mofokeng said.
Other participants in the workshop said the opportunity is the beginning of great things to come in the community of MAP.