Young minds have KZN co-operative sewn up

Janitor Co-operative - which has eight members, most of whom are women - manufactures furniture and clothing.
Janitor Co-operative - which has eight members, most of whom are women - manufactures furniture and clothing.
Image: Vukuzenzele

A co-operative run by a group of young people in Mtubatuba in northern KwaZulu-Natal has the potential to create jobs and to boost the local economy.

Janitor Co-operative - which has eight members, most of whom are women - manufactures furniture and clothing.

It was established in 2015 by four young people from Mtubatuba who had seized the opportunity for free community development training offered by a private institution.

Manager Thandiwe Kunene, 27, said the co-founders were previously members of separate co-operatives that were not faring well.

"After the training, we decided to come together to form one co-operative and called it Janitor, which basically means a caretaker. We had the same vision and dream, which is to make a success of our community by striving to create jobs and opportunities for young people, especially those who have completed school but are struggling to get jobs," said Kunene.

She said all the members of the co-operatives struggled to find sustainable jobs after completing their studies, which is a problem that many young people in their community experience. In four years, the co-operative has doubled and the members hope it keeps growing.

Recently, it received five domestic sewing machines and an over-locker from KwaZulu-Natal finance MEC Ravi Pillay.

This story first appeared in the GCIS's Vuk'uzenzele

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