More and more co-operatives and SMMEs deserve funding from the state to stimulate job creation, enable activity in the informal economy and help the state spread its resources.
This was the view, today, of MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube after visiting a thriving co-operative project in Umzinyathi, Inanda area in eThekwini. MEC Dube-Ncube visited Ward 2, where the project is based and Ward 3 where she held a massive community engagement as part of her post-budget road show as well as part of her Women in Co-operatives drive. The Department had previous assisted Bakers Creationz Bakery in Maphephethini in Inanda which has done well. The enterprise is now supplying big national retailers with its confectionery products and needed more equipment, floor space and expansion to keep up with the demand.
So successful is the business that it qualified for further funding from the department’s enterprise development unit. “The reality is that we are facing a bleak period as unemployment continues to hamper our efforts. However, we take comfort at knowing that small businesses and co-ops display potential to positively turn things around. This is what we are talking about when we say we want to fund small businesses that are doing well to enable them to move a step higher,” said Dube-Ncube. “We are proud of Bakers Creationz and the success they have achieved. Co-operatives like this deserve more funding from the government to sustain their operation. This is so that they meet their mandate, create jobs and stimulate the economy,” she said. Addressing Ward 3 community, Dube-Ncube also called for more innovative way to be applied by co-operatives to create efficiencies in their operation. She heaped praise at the role of women in making co-operatives thrive and become engines of economic activities. Leader of Bakers Creationz Njabulo Sithole thanked the department for supporting the initiative and said even though they are in a rural area the quality of their products have been able to attract the attention of big retailers. “Today we supply Pick n Pay and other big supermarkets. We thank the department for the support and for supporting our initiative as we seek to expand,” he said. MEC Dube-Ncube encouraged the co-ops to lodge an application when Operation Vula Fund opens its application window which will be announced by the department later this month.
MEC addressing the community of Umzinyathi District during Co-ops Day
MEC for EDTEA Ms Nomsa Dube-Ncube and MEC for Human Settlements Ms Peggy Nkonyeni with Njabulo Sthole Co-ops fund beneficiary at Bakers Creationz Bakery
MEC for Human Settlements addressing the community of Umzinyathi District during Co-Ops Day