The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality handed over industrial strength equipment to twenty local cooperatives already contracted to the South African Social Security Agency to manufacture school uniforms, an initiative that will create 130 job opportunities.
Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture, Cllr Noluthando Pink, said the handover of equipment is part of a long-term plan to establish a textile hub where all designers will be housed under one roof.
“The beneficiaries of the equipment today are from all over the Metro and are contracted by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) for the manufacturing of school uniforms and they also supply directly to the local market.
“I would like to thank Sassa and others that are buying from these cooperatives, especially since a lack of access to markets is often a major challenge for these companies. This kind of support will go a long way towards sustaining their business operations.
“Each cooperative will be getting an industrial straight stitch machine, an industrial thread overlocker, an industrial steam iron and material worth R5 000. They are twenty in total, which make it a substantial investment.
“This initiative will create about 130 jobs and the long term plan is to move towards the development of a textile hub where all designers will be housed under one roof,” MMC Pink said.
The intervention by the municipality’s Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture Directorate as part of their Small Business Development Support Initiative and has the following goals:
- Improvement in the quality of work produced,
- Increase in production capacity,
- Reduction of delivery time to the clients,
- Job creation, and;
Mr Innocent Marthinus, Secretary of Nelson Mandela Bay Cooperatives, commended the Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture Directorate under the leadership of Executive Director Anele Qaba and his team.
“At some point we had doubts but you proved us wrong. I would like to extend my gratitude. At some point, cooperatives were scattered all over Nelson Mandela Bay and operated like spaza shops. You managed to unite us and bring us together under one umbrella,” Marthinus said.
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