THE ABILITY TO USE OUR HANDS IS OUR SAVING GRACE

“I have a postgraduate Bachelor of Social Work Degree. I am the first university graduate in Mdlamlenze. I hope to get employment so that I can assist my village. I am, however, proud of the cooperative because it is also making a difference in the community,” Thandeka says.
0
57

By Nomfundo Xulu-Lentsoane

  • 200 women from Mdlamlenze, Emandlangeni Local Municipality (KwaZulu-Natal), recently completed a cooperative course by the National Development Agency, receiving certificates in Budget Planning, Bookkeeping, and Cooperative Governance over three days.
  • Among the recipients was 24-year-old Thandeka Zwane, founder of Mdlamlenze Crop and Stock Farmers Primary Cooperative Limited, comprising 11 members focusing on agriculture and poultry.
  • Utilizing land donated by the local induna, the cooperative cultivates a variety of vegetables and sells live chickens, aiming to address food scarcity and economic challenges in their community while empowering its members, including university graduates like Thandeka, to make a difference through entrepreneurship.

On 07 March 2024, 200 women from the Mdlamlenze in the Emandlangeni Local Municipality (KwaZulu-Natal) received certificates of acknowledgement after they finished a cooperative course by the National Development Agency. They were trained in Budget Planning, Bookkeeping and Cooperative Governance over three days.

One of the 21 recipients of the attendance certificates was 24-year-old Thandeka Zwane who established Mdlamlenze Crop and Stock Farmers Primary Cooperative Limited in 2022. The organisation, which has 11 members – 8 females and 3 males, focuses on agriculture and poultry.

“We are grateful to our local induna, Mr Zwane, who donated land for us to plant our vegetables which include spinach, carrot, onions, cabbage, green pepper, potatoes, lettuce, chili pepper, beetroot and tomatoes,” says the University of KwaZulu-Natal graduate.

“I have a postgraduate Bachelor of Social Work Degree. I am the first university graduate in Mdlamlenze. I hope to get employment so that I can assist my village. I am, however, proud of the cooperative because it is also making a difference in the community,” Thandeka says.

Her organisation also sells live chickens to community members and offers credit facilities to those who cannot afford to buy. “They often pay us back then they receive their grants from SASSA,” explains the first-born child who says she hope her siblings will continue in her footsteps.

There are very few shops in Mdlamlenze and stock is often runs out because not enough can be purchased due to affordability factors. People must travel to town to buy fresh vegetables, so the organisation saw this as an opportunity to start a vegetable organisation and sell to the local community. “We are happy to be able to use our hands to sustain ourselves and serve our community. This is our saving grace…” she concludes.

Leave a reply