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Primary aim is to deal with members' long-standing problems

By unknown | Sep 25, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Isaac Moledi and Penwell Dlamini

Isaac Moledi and Penwell Dlamini

Buhle Mthethwa, pictured, the vocal Nafcoc president, goes to the organisation's annual conference in Durban next Wednesday with one positive report-back: that plans to launch members' cooperative bank are at an advanced stage.

Mthethwa said the three-day conference and AGM will focus on Nafcoc's achievements to date, especially its plans to launch the first chamber-owned cooperative bank, hailed as a ground-breaking achievement.

"We are almost done. All the necessary steps and logistics of starting the bank have been done and it will soon see the light of day," she said.

Mthethwa said key stakeholders and the entrepreneur to run the bank have been identified.

Nafcoc members will know about this achievement at the conference to be held at Durban's International Convention Centre on October 3, said Mthethwa.

She said the primary objective of this bank would be to address small and medium enterprises' long-standing problems relating to finances.

Other areas the bank will focus on are described as "essential for the sustainable growth of cooperative and SMMEs, include the impact of the regulatory environment on cooperatives and SMMEs, access to finance, markets or procurement, skills developments as well as business support".

The conference is themed "Unleashing the power of entrepreneurship through cooperatives and SMMEs".

Mthethwa said this was a continuation of the theme launched in 2005, to create 100000 SMMEs each year.

"I was the project champion at the time," said Nafcoc's first woman president.

"When I took over as president in 2006, I said we would continue with this theme for the next five years, by focusing our resources on different strategic interventions that will bear real results and deliver value for our members."

Mthethwa said Nafcoc remained committed and focused on creating employment through SMMEs development, and this goal could be accomplished by increasing the number of enterprises.

She said the 2005 AGM objective to create 100000 SMMEs a year would still be on the agenda next week. She aimed to achieve this through her new strategy of proper governance and discipline.

To achieve her new strategy Mthethwa is setting up standardised offices in all the provinces.

"That was our biggest problem - people were running offices from their briefcases. It has to change," she said.

One of the challenges was attracting successful business people into Nafcoc to strengthen the organisation in its aim to lobby and influence policies.

Mthethwa said that some people had used Nafcoc and their positions for personal gain, and this must end.

In keeping with Nafcoc's mandate, Mthethwa wants to be accessible to the masses.

"When you think of me, you think of the grass roots," she said.

Her vision is to create an institution that will continue to deliver tangible results for its members beyond her tenure.

"It is my vision that it will continue to play a key role until the economic landscape in South Africa has been balanced."


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