Entlango Cooperative

Entlango is a cooperative established in 2006 by 5 members of Qongqotha community who saw a need to utilize the land for agricultural purposes and job creation purposes. Qongqotha is a community very close to Mdantsane one of the biggest township in the country. It later grew by 15 small holder farmers to bring the number to 20 members. SCAT was introduced to the corporative through the Anglo American Foundation Institutional Capacity building project in 2013. In 2011 the Buffalo City Municipality installed an irrigation system on 11 hectors of land.  This was followed by a 1 Hector Hydroponic structure with inputs such as fertilizers, spraying chemicals, protective clothing and seedling for a start up project aimed at producing 15 000 tomatoes. The project has improved a lot since its initiation and has become a good business venture creating job opportunities for young people in the community especially women and the disabled. The project is producing vegetables such as, tomatoes, spinach, potatoes, beetroot, onions, green pepper etc. Every week at 150 boxes of tomatoes, 300 cabbages and 150 bunches are taken to AA Market in East London.  The cooperative has 24 people working on the project. 9 of them are employed by the project and the rest come in as Volunteers. So far the only funding received was from SCAT and the Department of Social Development.

Governance and management

The Coop is run by a management committee of 9 members elected annually by the members. Mr. Zukiswa Mpayipeli is their Project manager and an administrator. The rest of the staff members are managers and supervisors of the various produce in both the Hydroponic structure and the open community garden. 

Main activities of the LDA

Their main activities are

  • Food production in the form of vegetable production in the Hydroponic structure and the communal garden.
  • Ubuntu Community Dialogues aimed at bringing communities to collectively establish forums that promote a peaceful society and human rights creating awareness in the community.
  • Skills development trainings conducted for co-op members on production and management, vegetable production, etc.    
  • Food security programs by providing food to disadvantaged and poor families in the community.

 

Highlights, achievements, innovative projects

Below are some of the major highlights of the Coop:

  • Generating produce that gives them a sum of R 28 000.00 per month towards the operation of the business.  
  • Employing more than 20 people on the gardens to assist with different tasks such as planting, weeding, harvesting and packing.
  • Assisted 5 women in the community to initiate their own food garden and soup kitchen for underprivileged children in the community.
  • Established a community dialogue forum named Ubuntu Dialogues which resulted in a Task team formed to deal with issues relating to crime and sexual violence.