The National Youth Development Agency launches a green cooperative in Alexandra Township.
The United Nations has declared 2012 the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) in order to raise public awareness of the invaluable contributions of cooperative enterprises to poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. The IYC will also highlight the strengths of the cooperative business model as an alternative means of doing business and furthering socioeconomic development.
R1 141 297 received through the NYDA
The Lesedi Manufacturing Primary Co-operative is a 13 member waste management cooperative that has been operating since 2008 and has received R1 141 297 through the NYDA Enterprise Finance division for the duration of 36 months. The cooperative has used the funding for the construction of offices, purchasing of equipment and working for working capital.
The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) is committed to supporting green cooperative enterprises in South Africa particularly in small communities; and the NYDA’s Deputy Executive Chairperson, Yershen Pillay has launched an awareness drive to encourage unemployed and disheartened youth to start cooperative enterprises that create employment with significant focus on ‘greening’ communities.
Uplifting local communities
“Cooperatives serve to uplift local communities in sustaining job creation, retaining valuable locally developed skills and supporting family and social structures. The NYDA is urging young people to start critically identifying requirements within their communities and fostering partnerships that could be the beginning of a successful community cooperative enterprises.” said Yershen Pillay.
Lesedi Manufacturing Primary Co-operative recycles cans, cardboard, paper, glass and plastic collected within the community which has enabled them to turn a community litter and pollution problem into a viable business solution.
Women doing great things
“We were motivated to recycle because anybody that has ever been to Alexandra knows that our community is very dirty. We have the support of the community because we are women known to be doing great things in the Alexandra.” said Zoleka Ntshololo, a founding member.
The NYDA will celebrate 2012 International Year of Cooperatives by educating the youth on the ease of forming and registering cooperatives and illustrating the advantages of people coming together to produce goods or services or buying stock in bulk as a group.
Enabling the youth
Unskilled South Africans are amongst those set to benefit from cooperatives and the NYDA firmly believes that the International Year of Cooperatives will enable youth in many communities to benefit from employment opportunities that will serve as possible solutions to social ills such as crime, drug and alcohol abuse and allow for positive community participation, skills transfer and educational opportunities.