The role of cooperatives on community development : the case of the Motloulela Farming Cooperative

Mohlala, Molebo Pretty (2020-03)

Thesis (MPA)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Most rural communities in South Africa struggle with poverty, unemployment and social collapse. To address these difficulties, many residents work collectively in cooperatives, united in the belief that they can achieve more than when working individually. Cooperatives represent a resilient, vibrant and viable economic alternative in bringing people together to work towards a common goal and meeting their shared needs through cooperation. However, while most of the cooperatives in South Africa are largely weak or failing, there remain a few strong and vibrant cooperatives able to provide an economic boost to their communities. This study adopted a qualitative approach and utilised case-study research design to conduct qualitative research into the role of the Motloulela Farming Cooperative (MFC) (Limpopo) in community development. A non-probability sampling approach was used, and fourteen members of MFC were purposively selected for qualitative interviews, in order to analyse the role of the cooperative on local community development. Thematic and content analysis methods were used to interpret the findings. The Motloulela Farming Cooperative (MFC) is a strong and vibrant cooperative, which brings local people together who collectively work to improve socioeconomic conditions in their communities. The research demonstrates that the MFC empowered cooperative members by way of enabling them to acquire knowledge and skills, and created and improved social networks in the community. Moreover, the MFC provided avenues and pathways for self-employment thereby securing economic independence. Community members also enjoyed the benefits of the MFC being located in their village as they received donations, discounted prices and casual jobs. The study demonstrates that the MFC is an important vehicle for the achievement of the societal goals and developmental aspirations of the people of Motloulela village. For this reason, the study recommends that instead of researchers putting more effort into identifying and describing the challenges which contribute to the catastrophic failure rate of cooperatives, they should rather invest equal and corresponding effort in demonstrating their role in community development. The argument here is that providing a comprehensive analysis of thriving cooperatives could shed light as to how effective they are in as far as their role on community development is concerned; what could be considered success factors and therefore the building blocks for successful cooperatives, and infuse these lessons in forming new or reinvigorating existing cooperatives.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Die meeste landelike gemeenskappe in Suid-Afrika sukkel met armoede, werkloosheid en sosiale ineenstorting. Om hierdie probleme aan te spreek, werk baie inwoners gesamentlik in koöperasies, verenig in die geloof dat hulle meer kan bereik as wanneer hulle individueel werk. Koöperasies verteenwoordig 'n veerkragtige, lewendige en lewensvatbare ekonomiese alternatief om mense byeen te bring om na 'n gemeenskaplike doel te werk en hul gedeelde behoeftes deur middel van samewerking te ontmoet. Hoewel die meeste van die koöperasies in Suid-Afrika grootliks swak of in gebreke is, bly daar 'n paar sterk en lewendige koöperasies in staat om 'n ekonomiese hupstoot aan hul gemeenskappe te bied. Hierdie studie het 'n kwalitatiewe benadering aanvaar en die gevallestudie aangewend om kwalitatiewe navorsing in die rol van die Motloulela-boerdery-Koöperasie (MFC) (Limpopo) in gemeenskapsontwikkeling, te behartig. 'N nie-waarskynlikheidsteekproefbenadering is gebruik, en veertien lede van MFC was voorgee vir kwalitatiewe onderhoude, ten einde die rol van die koöperasie op Plaaslike gemeenskapsontwikkeling te ontleed. Tematiese en inhoudontledingsmetodes is gebruik om die bevindings te interpreteer. Die Motloulela boerdery-Koöperasie (MFC) is 'n sterk en lewendige koöperatiewe, wat plaaslike mense bymekaar bring wat gesamentlik werk om sosio-ekonomiese toestande in hul gemeenskappe te verbeter. Die navorsing toon dat die MFC die koöperatiewe lede by wyse van hulle in staat stel om kennis en vaardighede te bekom, en om sosiale netwerke in die gemeenskap te skep en te verbeter. Boonop het die MFC paaie en paaie vir selfwerksaamheid voorsien en sodoende ekonomiese onafhanklikheid verkry. Gemeenskapslede het ook die voordele van die MFC wat in hul dorp geleë is, geniet, aangesien hulle donasies, afslagpryse en gemaklik werksgeleenthede ontvang het. Die studie toon dat die MFC 'n belangrike voertuig is vir die bereiking van die samelewingsdoelwitte en ontwikkelingsaspirasies van die mense van Motloulela Village. Daarom beveel die studie aan dat in plaas van navorsers meer moeite doen om die uitdagings te identifiseer en te beskryf wat bydra tot die katastrofiese druipsyfer van koöperasies, moet hulle eerder gelyke en ooreenstemmende inspanning belê in om hul rol in gemeenskapsontwikkeling te demonstreer. Die argument hier is dat die verskaffing van 'n omvattende ontleding van vooruitstrewende koöperasies lig kan werp oor hoe doeltreffend hulle is in so ver as hul rol op die gemeenskap ontwikkeling is bekommerd; wat beskou kan word as sukses faktore en dus die boublokke vir suksesvolle koöperasies, en trek hierdie lesse in die vorming van nuwe of herverfrissende bestaande koöperasies.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108285
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