Rural co-operative scoops NW entrepreneur award

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Pretoria - A rural agricultural co-operative, which uses animal fat to make hydra bar soaps, scooped the 2014 North West Female Entrepreneur Award.

After scooping the category for Top Entrepreneur Processing, Kopanang Primary Agricultural Co-operative pocketed a whopping R1.7 million worth of infrastructure support during an event held in Klerksdorp, on Friday.

The co-operative based in Gopane village, in Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality, Ngaka Modiri Molema District, comprises of five women.  

Speaking at the ceremony, North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo said the nature of the female empowerment programme fits well into the conceived plan of rebranding, repositioning and renewal of the province.

“Having resolved to make agriculture our number one priority in terms of economic development, I wish to express my confidence in the work being done by women of this province, which is proof enough that together, we are committed to uplifting the standard of agriculture in our province. 

“I urge you to remain firm in your resolve to create wealth for our people, and I encourage you to never give up in this regard,” he said.

Expressing their excitement at the recognition bestowed upon them, the founder and chairperson of Kopanang Primary Agricultural Co-operative, Motlalepula Moroeng, said their achievement calls for more hard work on their part and the creation of more jobs.

Moroeng, who started the project in 2012, said they collect animal fat from the local abattoirs and at local events, which they process to produce bar soaps that are SABS approved.

The soaps are sold within the local communities, around and outside the province.    

Seventeen women owned projects qualified for this year’s competition, in five categories. The Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development will provide infrastructure support worth R500 000 and R750 000 for respective category winners.

These category winners will represent the province at the national Department of Agriculture annual Female Entrepreneur Awards ceremony to be held at Mmabatho Convention Centre on Friday, August 22.

The ceremony is held annually in August and culminates in a national award ceremony, where winners from all nine provinces vie for national awards in their respective categories.

The Female Entrepreneur Awards is an empowerment programme which is in its 15th year. It was initiated to recognise, celebrate, honour and reward the continuous contribution made by women in the fight against hunger, poverty and unemployment among the rural communities. -