Bak­ing loaves of suc­cess

Vuk'uzenzele - - Front Page - Galoome Shopane

KITCHEN QUEENS have kneaded, shaped and baked a liveli­hood for them­selves, with a lit­tle help from gov­ern­ment and their sup­port­ive com­mu­nity.

Over two decades ago, a group of women from Qwaqwa in the Free State put on their aprons, got out the flour and mixed up a bet­ter fu­ture for them­selves.

The Ler­a­tong Bak­ery co-op­er­a­tive was started by nine women. Sadly, five of the orig­i­nal mem­bers have passed away but the re­main­ing four have not only been able to put bread on the ta­ble but have cre­ated a strong sis­terly bond.

Ler­a­tong Bak­ery sup­plies nine crèches around Qwaqwa, as well as pri­vate house­holds.

“Ev­ery­thing we do was self-taught and we have worked very hard,” said co-op­er­a­tive mem­ber Nt­se­jwa Nkone.

Nkone said that part of their suc­cess and sus­tain­abil­ity came from the sup­port that they re­ceived from their com­mu­nity.

“Our re­la­tion­ship with com­mu­nity mem­bers is very good; they have sup­ported our prod­ucts and have en­cour­aged us to con­tinue what we do as they love our baked goods.”

Nkone ex­plained that they re­ceived fund­ing from the De­part­ment of So­cial De­vel­op­ment that en­abled them to pur­chase three stoves, a dough mixer, bread slicer, in­gre­di­ents and al­lowed them to do some mar­ket­ing.

“The process was not that

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