KwaZulu-Natal Finance MEC Ravi Pillay has brought smiles to Buhle Bengqondo by donating the Co-operative with much-needed equipment.
Pillay donated four industrial sewing machines, one domestic sewing machine, and an over-locker to Buhle Bengqondo Sewing Co-operative, based in Ezinqoleni outside Port Shepstone.
The Apparel and Textile Association of South Africa (Atasa) also donated fabrics to the Co-operative.
The three-year old Co-operative is a success story as it is able to generate employment for local women through a poultry farming project and a sewing project.
The sewing project has attracted orders from schools in the Eastern Cape.
Speaking at a packed Farmers’ Hall where he was engaging with the community, Pillay said co-operatives are an important element in growing the economy and creating jobs.
“As government, we want to encourage communities to start their own businesses and co-operatives in order to alleviate poverty and generate job opportunities.
“This co-operative is showing direction on how we need to collectively build our economy and create jobs. They need to be further supported on how to run their business,” he said.
Pillay said they are happy the co-operative is also doing poultry farming because agriculture is another key sector that will help drive economic growth.
Deputy Mayor of Ugu District Municipality, Pumlile Mthiyane, said the visit by the MEC is not only going to encourage Buhle Bengqondo Co-operative but other people will also feel encouraged to stand up and do things for themselves.
“Our economy needs hard working people so that we reduce reliance on government. As government, we are determined to deliver services to our communities.
“Currently we have a water problem in the district, but I want to assure everyone that the District Municipality and the Provincial Government are working together to address this problem that has seen many people suffering,” she said.
Chairperson of Buhle Bengqondo Co-operative, Mildred Phewa, said the donation and mentorship is going to help them grow and create more employment for the locals.
“We are grateful for MEC Pillay’s donation to our sewing project. We will now be able to expand and hopefully allow other people to benefit,” Phewa said. – SAnews.gov.za