Sunday Express

Stadium Area residents launch cooperativ­e

- Bataung Moeketsi

STADIUM Area residents have formed a cooperativ­e that will spearhead employment creation initiative­s and attempt to alleviate poverty for members of their community.

Launched on 18 March 2020 at Memorial Hall, in Seapoint, the Stadium Area Service Providers Cooperativ­e (SASPC) will offer services ranging from cleaning the environmen­t and roads, gardening and landscapin­g, vegetable farming and HIV and AIDS youth training with the hope of eventually starting a support centre.

SASPC is registered with the Ministry of Small Businesses, Cooperativ­es and Marketing from Maseru Municipali­ty Council 005 which covers Moshoeshoe II, Sea Point, Thibella and Pitso Ground.

Secretary of SASPC, Serobanyan­e Letsoela, told the Sunday Express that they registered the organisati­on last month and already have 62 members.

SASPC’s committee comprises of chairperso­n Thapeli Tjabane and deputy ‘Mota Rankhethoa, treasurer, Itumeleng Ramafole, secretary, Mr Letsoela and his deputy Molefi Thakalekoa­la; ‘Masello Sesenyi and Hlalele Hlalele.

Mr Rankhethoa said unlike other cooperativ­es, they do not require funds to function but instead, will use whatever they have to improve their lives.

“We formed this cooperativ­e with the objective of relieving ourselves from poverty,” Mr Rankhethoa said.

“We have seen many cooperativ­es start and collapse because of lack of funding to build pigsties and chicken coops or secure farms to plough.”

Mr Tjabane added that the members can even start vegetable projects in their respective homes and collective­ly sell the produce at the Maseru Market which is located in their area.

He said other towns outside Maseru are now producing their own produce thereby creating employment.

“In the past, the districts would wait for food grown elsewhere but they now produce their own fresh produce. Even developed cities across the world grow their own fresh produce,” Mr Tjabane said.

He said their model is based on the desire to create their own employment instead of waiting for the government to create jobs.

Residents from Moshoeshoe II, Sea Point, Thibella and Pitso Ground are free to join the cooperativ­e upon payment of a M50 joining fee. They are also expected to contribute M500 annually.

For her part, the head of the District Cooperativ­es Office in Maseru ‘Malefi Makoanyane said she was happy to see young people spearheadi­ng cooperativ­es as it was not the norm in the past.

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