A TOTAL of 20 cooperatives, contracted by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to manufacture school uniforms, recently received industrial equipment donated by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.
This initiative will create 130 job opportunities for unemployed residents in the metro and, in addition, help locals to grow their businesses.
According to the Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture, Noluthando Pink, the municipality is finding ways to fight the challenge of unemployment in the metro.
â€œWe have concluded after a thorough assessment, that one of the major challenges for cooperatives is the lack of equipment. These cooperatives cannot do what they do best without the necessary tools.
â€œThey will be able to generate a better income by using the equipment,â€? Pink said.
Furthermore, a textile hub is in the pipeline which will house all designers under one roof in the near future.
Each cooperative received an industrial straight stitch machine, an industrial thread overlocker, an industrial steam iron and material worth R5 000.
Pink said a total of 20 pieces of equipment had been donated, â€œWhich makes it a substantial investment.â€?
â€œThe beneficiaries of the equipment are from all over the metro and are contracted by Sassa for the manufacturing of school uniforms and they also supply directly to the local market.â€?
Pink expressed her gratitude towards Sassa and others for supporting the cooperatives.
â€œI would like to thank Sassa and others who are buying from these cooperatives, especially since a lack of access to markets is often a major challenge for these companies.
â€œThis kind of support will go a long way towards sustaining their business operations,â€? Pink said.
One of the cooperatives, Cikizwe Makisi, from the Yinqaba Yethu company, said that she has been waiting for new equipment to extend her business.
â€œI am so happy to have received the equipment and will now be able to grow my business. Iâ€™ve been in this industry for three years now and hope to employ more people in the future. I would like to thank the municipality for their generosity and believing in us,â€? Makisi said. Innocent Marthinus, secretary of Nelson Mandela Bay Cooperatives, commended the Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture Directorate under the leadership of executive director, Anele Qaba, and his team.
â€œAt some point we had doubts but you proved us wrong. I would like to extend my gratitude. At some point, cooperatives were scattered all over Nelson Mandela Bay and operated like spaza shops. You managed to unite us and bring us together under one umbrella,â€? Marthinus said.