South Africa: MEC Ravi Pillay Donates Sewing Equipment to Co-Operatives in Izingolweni

press release

KZN Finance MEC donates sewing machines to a women-led Co-operative in Izingolweni, says cooperatives and small businesses can play a significant role in boosting and transforming the economy

The MEC for Finance in KwaZulu-Natal, Ravi Pillay, brought smiles to Buhle Bengqondo Co-operative yesterday (Tuesday 29 October 2019) by donating the much-needed equipment.

Pillay donated four industrial sewing machines, one domestic sewing machine, and an overlocker to Buhle Bengqondo Sewing Co-operative based in Ezinqoleni outside Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal. The Apparel and Textile Association of South Africa (Atasa) also donated fabrics to the Cooperative.

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 even 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 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 Finance 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," said Phewa.

Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Finance

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