The purpose of the study was to investigate how the co-operatives can be used to uplift the standard of living in the rural, with specific reference to Dutywa villages of Ngcingwane, Mangati and Mbewuleni. In other words is ‘how do we make co-operatives work’. The overall purpose of the study was to investigate whether co-operatives have contributed to positive change in the socio-economic conditions in the three villages of Dutywa. The research further analyzes the performance of the co-operatives in terms of their leadership and management structures. The research was also to find out what the challenges are and what are the gaps associated with the performance of the co-operatives. The research was also to look at how the support from different government departments and other government agencies are used to enhance the co-operatives governance. Lastly, the research was to find the best model for co-operative development and what needs to be done to enhance the capacity of the co-operatives. In the study that was carried out, four different approaches were used. The research was based on action research which involved a range of instruments like questionnaires, focus group interviews, conversation and observation. Both comparative and qualitative research frameworks were used for different purposes and at different times. Comparative approach is used when the three co-operatives are compared to each other. Differences on governance and administrative issues on governance such as capital, market and the impact thereafter is reported on. The research assumption was that co-operative development is a viable tool for economic development of the rural areas. This can help many South Africans and many communities come out of poverty. However, there are 6 limitations that are caused by the inability of government to co-ordinate co-operative development. Despite the role that co-operatives play in South Africa, co-operatives still experience a number of challenges. These challenges are, amongst others, lack of access to finance, lack of access to market, lack of business skills, lack of infrastructural facilities and lack of knowledge about the co-operative. In view of the challenges facing the co-operatives, the government instituted a number of state departments and parastatals for funding and other necessary support. These are DTI, DEDEA (in the Eastern Cape), ECDC, SEDA, Department of Labour and municipalities. The objectives of these support institutions are to provide necessary support needed by co-operatives and to ensure that co-operative development is sustainable. The findings of this study suggest that co-operatives play a vital role in the socio-economic development of the rural villages. Co-operatives create self-employment and sometimes employment through temporary employment offered; provide space and time for socialization and lastly co-operative members are sometimes through their produce able to provide basic foodstuffs to the family. In view of the socio-economic benefits of the co-operatives in rural villages of Dutywa, it is highly recommended that various support programmes that are already there within the departments should be enhanced. Assistance to co-operatives should not only be limited to government funding for co-operatives but more concentration should be on finding market for their products.
|Mqingwana, Cwaka Batandwa
|Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences
|South African National ETD Portal
|Thesis, Masters, MA
|70 leaves, pdf
|Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
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