A seven-member delegation from South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry is in the country to draw lessons on how they can offer technical support to co-operatives and small enterprises in their own country. The delegation yesterday visited the Domboshava Institute of Training and Development, which offers a course on co-operative management to study how the Government has taken over the task of training the co-operatives.
The chief director for the Enterprise Development Unit in the department, Mr Mojalefa Mohoto, said South Africa did not have such an institute that provides co-operatives with the necessary training that can make their operations more efficient and professional.
Mr Mohoto said the trip was a follow-up to a meeting held with Small to Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni last year where an agreement of intent aimed at identifying ways of supporting and developing co-operatives and small enterprises in the two countries was signed.
"It is interesting to note the effectiveness of housing co-operatives here and that effectiveness is a result of the training that they are receiving.
"Back home, housing co-operatives actually depend on the government to do the actual work for them, so I believe we can draw a few lessons on how to make these co-operatives independent," he said.
He said South Africa's Small Enterprises Development Agency and the Small Enterprises Development Corporation were working on an agreement that would look at how the two countries can offer each other technical support.
"Officials from Zimbabwe can come to South Africa for our incubation programmes and get a feel of how we are doing things while our people also benefit from their institutes," he said.
He said the public and private sector companies were playing a significant role in the incubation and funding of co-operatives in South Africa which was relieving the burden from government as they were churning out active entrepreneurs in the productive sector of the economy who do not depend on government tenders for growth.