Building vibrant and sustainable co-operative enterprises that stimulate the social economy of the province


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Ms Nomhle Sihawu


  • Co-operatives are developing in their own corners without a clear leadership structure

  • There is a strong need for a formalised structure of co-operatives with a strategic leadership

  • Clear role of government and Institute for Co-operative Development need to be defined and understood

  • The role of District and Local Municipalities on establishment of Co-operative Development Centres and DEDEA as a Principal Partner, is encouraged (ref Chris Hani District Municipality)

  • It is high time for Co-operatives to start leading the process not being at a receiving end, otherwise the same movement that we are building will be destroyed by forming projects not business entities





To highlight the role played by Co-operatives in the economy

Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs (DEDEA) at a later stage the CDC

It is a mandate of the department to create an environment for business to flourish, and highlight the impact of each business entity in the provincial economy and CDC as they are hands on working with co-operatives

To provide a platform for dialogue on movement building

Provincial Co-operative Structure

This is a role of the co-operative structure to facilitate a process of establishment of a provincial co-operative movement, with clear informative approach

To promote a research and education on key issues that affects the co-operative sector

Institute for Co-operative Development

This is a sole responsibility of the Institute for Co-operative Development (Research and Knowledge)

Develop a practical programme towards movement building

Co-op forums, CDC and DEDEA

This is a mandate of Co-op forums, and CDC to develop a programme for movement building, working with IFCD on research and knowledge

Develop strategic network platform among Eastern Cape co-ops, national and International co-ops for both ideological and economic mutual benefits through solidarity in action

Co-operative Development Centres, and Eastern Cape Co-operative Movement, working with DEDEA for logistics

CDC, as they have the mandate for economic directory of the province, and the Co-operative movement to come up with concept on how to develop a strategic network platform.

To assess the progress made out of the resolutions of the previous indaba


There is a need to assess the progress from 2010 Indaba, what has been done until to date.

Challenges faced by co-operatives

  • Lack of understanding of the concept “co-operatives” as empowering communities to be at the Centre of local economic development by Co-operatives, Provincial and local governments .

  • Need for training and education in order to be competitive and produce quality products and services.

  • Lack of access to markets for co-operatives due to poor quality.

  • To create platforms whereby co-operatives become receiver of the initiatives rather than the key partners of each and every development government is doing for co-operatives.

Way forward

  • Building a vibrant co-operative movement by supporting primary co-operatives.

  • Create a platform on more engagement of co-operatives that will build sectorial growth on provincial and district level, through Co-operative Development Centres.

  • Working towards a bottom to top approach on co-operative movement establishment.

  • Start a democratic process to set up legitimate structures that represent co-ops.


Mr Aaron Ranayeke
Mr Ranayeke reported on observations he made in his travels around five of the districts in the Eastern Cape. In his travels he raised issues pertaining to the rebuilding of the movement in the Eastern Cape as Funda Education and Training Primary Co-operative. He raised a concern on the observation that co-operators seemed not to have an understanding of where they come from which raises a danger of where they are heading to.

In his presentation Mr Ranayeke pointed out that it should be appreciated that co-operators have got a history and it can be traced back to 3000 BC in the form of burial societies in Babylon. So there is a history around co-operatives, it is not something new but very old. One thing that should be understood even in the countries where it is said that co-operatives are doing very well, is that those co-operative movements always believed in the three-legged approach which is:

  • Co-operatives

  • Social movement

  • Trade unions

Mr Ranayeke observed that this relationship is always there and could be seen even from the international co-operative alliance. There is still that relationship at an international level where representatives discuss and influence each other around positions more especially for co-operatives and what role the labour movements can play in order to advance the agenda of the broader co-operatives movement.

It was pointed out that the character and the form of the movement will not be concluded in the present gathering but that participants will go out and rebuild or build the sectors of particular co-operative movements. And those sectors will determine the character and the nature of the actual movement.

The other aspect raised was that there is a lack of consciousness and a lack of an audit in underpinning and understanding what perspective should drive the co-operatives movement. The need for this to be done was raised and the Institute was identified to possibly play that particular role. Mr Ranayeke underlined his suggestion for a sector education in the Institute For Co-operative Development’s training programmes so that people from a particular sector can understand the orientation, the nature and the form of the sector. In his concluding remarks Ranayeke stressed the need for co-operative movement to grow organically through a number of processes so that mistakes made in the past may not be repeated.

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