AGANANG TRAINING CENTRE AND MULTI-PURPOSE COOPERATIVE
Regina Sello, the chairperson of the Co-operative studied for a Catering and Sewing course in Randfontein. She also attended a Leadership course with the Institute for Democracy in South Africa. In 2006 she further attended a Clothing manufacturing and Flower arrangement course with the Department of Labour. Regina has been an entrepreneur since 1990 running her own sewing business but decided to form a Co-operative in 2009.The other members of the Co-operative also take part in the daily operations of the business. Some of them do not have much experience in the clothing manufacturing industry but have shown interest to learn on the job.
Aganang Training Centre and Multi-Purpose Primary Co-operative is a business that manufactures school uniforms, curtains, personal protective clothing and does silk screen printing and embroidery. The Co-op started operations in 2009 and it is based in Mohlakeng township. The Co-operative has five (5) members. The business’s customers are the general public around the West Rand, schools, mining companies and the local government. The members have invested funds into the business to buy basic equipment. The equipment comprises straight machines, over-locker machines and cutting machines. The business is operating from rented premises in Mohlakeng. It does not develop any new products but manufactures and improves on what is already available in the market. The business has competition around the area in other Co-ops that are in the same industry. Temps are sourced when there are contracts to execute. The business has successfully completed contracts to supply school uniforms for the Gauteng Department of Social Development.
The Co-operative faced two major challenges namely; lack of marketing material and lack of a financial management system.
After a thorough assessment of the business operations, various gaps were identified and a number of interventions were suggested based on priority. A marketing material project was implemented which consisted of signage, business cards, fliers, brochures and other printed marketing material. By implementing the financial management project, the Co-operative is now able to generate their own monthly management accounts.
Furthermore, the Co-operative benefitted from GEP’s grant funding, Co-operative Assistance Programme, which was used to acquire more equipment. A business plan was also developed which was used to apply for a Co-operative Incentive Scheme which is dti’s grant funding programme to assist in acquiring more equipment. The business has access to a number of GEP offered training programmes such as basic business management skills, customer care, sales and marketing, costing and pricing and practical tendering.
After the successful completion of the marketing material project and Cooperative Assistance Programme Co-ops turnover doubled in the financial year ended March 2014. The Co-operative has also created two more job opportunities and provides training to local community members.
The Co-operative is now able to manage their finances properly, have more manufacturing capacity through the acquired equipment, markets the business more effectively and its turnover doubled in the 2013-14 financial year.
Ms. Regina Sello