NDA UNLOCKS THE POTENTIAL OF COOPERATIVES

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Picture of MCMS Upholstery and Other Projects Primary Cooperative receiving their vehicle

By Lesego Ranchu 

  • The Seeisoville-based MCMS Upholstery and Other Projects Primary Cooperative secured R738,818.70 in funding from the National Development Agency (NDA) to bolster their upholstery and furniture business, aiming at job creation and enhancing the livelihoods of its five members.
  • With the NDA’s support, the Cooperative expanded its service range, including car interior upholstery, office and household furniture repair, and restoration. A nearby early childhood development centre, Kopano, commends the Cooperative’s services and wishes them success.
  • Utilising the funding, the Cooperative acquired a 2024 Mahindra pick-up truck and new working machinery, enabling them to upscale their operations, triple their productivity, create two additional jobs, and enhance income generation for both members and workers. The Cooperative expresses gratitude to the NDA for its instrumental support in their growth journey.

Yesterday, the Seeisoville-based community enterprise, MCMS Upholstery and Other Projects Primary Cooperative was awarded funding amounting to R738,818.70 by the National Development Agency (NDA), a poverty eradication entity. The funds are earmarked to bolster the upholstery and furniture manufacturing and repair business, aimed at fostering job creation and enhancing the livelihoods of its five members.

Unemployment remains a scourge in the country and through grant funding and capacity building of civil society organisations, the NDA contributes to the eradication of poverty and economic development within the Moqhaka Local Municipality. The Cooperative is set to expand its service offering, encompassing a range of offerings such as car interior upholstery (including minor patches, reconnecting loose threads, and portion replacement of fabric, vinyl, and leather), alongside office and household furniture services, including cleaning and restoration.  

A nearby business, Kopano Early Childhood Development Centre, utilises the services of the Cooperative regularly. “We are pleased with the working relationship we have; they service our mattresses that the children sleep on and do the maintenance of our woodwork equipment around the centre. We wish them well in their future endeavours and are supportive of their services,” said Ms Neo Lintsi.  

The funding was used to grow the cooperative asset base through the purchase of a 2024 Mahindra pick-up truck and new working machinery including a panel saw, spindle moulder,         T-bar clamp, PVC flexible hose, angle grinder, timber material, impact grill, tools and fabric and upholstery material. Mr Mpho Lethoba, one of the Cooperative members, says they are appreciative of the journey with the NDA. “The NDA funding has been beneficial to our business – we are projecting growth for the business. The bakkie will assist with deliveries, previously we used to spend money on hiring and repair costs. We will now also be able to market our services by going to display our products at markets”. 

Initially, members of the cooperative could only work on one couch at a time, but with the recent enhancements, they can now handle three simultaneously, resulting in the completion of three products per day. This expansion has led to the creation of two additional jobs and has significantly boosted income generation for both members and workers. Furthermore, the acquisition of a bakkie facilitates the delivery of goods to end users, enhancing the efficiency of operations.

“The NDA contributes to poverty eradication through CSO formalisation, capacity building and funding of organised groups that establish community enterprises that bring about economic transformation and job creation for and within communities. Sustainable livelihoods are derived when people gain employment and regular income. We are pleased to have unlocked their potential to reach their desired growth plans for the Cooperative,” says Mr Lesedi Piki, NDA Free State Provincial Manager.  

In addition to the recent funding from the National Development Agency (NDA), the Cooperative had previously received R 20,000.00 from the Mining Development Agency (MDA) and R 80,000.00 from the Department of Small Business Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA). These previous grants have also played a significant role in supporting the cooperative’s growth and development.

Picture by National Development Agency

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