CITY OF TSHWANE

Our daily bread

Bake.jpg

The City of Tshwane recently put its money where its mouth is when the Executive Mayor, Councillor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, officially launched the first-ever community-based Tshwane Bakery as part of the township economy revitalisation project in Soshanguve.

Councillor Ramokgopa announced during his State of the Capital Address in May this year that the City of Tshwane will develop and empower communities through training and by providing them with opportunities to become successful business owners.

The Tshwane Bakery, which is the initiative of five youths under the aegis of Imvelo Multi-purpose Cooperative, will sell fresh bread known as "kgora" (to be full) and related products to customers at affordable prices. The bakery project was designed and planned as a community upliftment initiative guided by the four pillars that form part of the following government priorities:

  • Food security;
  • Upliftment of women and youths;
  • Job creation; and
  • Community engagement.

Imvelo Cooperative was operating a catering business-cum-bakery on a small scale by informally and illegally using the current facility. The City of Tshwane stepped in to formalise its business operation. The City entered into a three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the cooperative to run the daily operations of the bakery, during which period the City will retain ownership of the bakery.

The beneficiaries will be given an option to renew the lease when the MoU expires. The City has invested R3,8 million for building construction and the installation of fixtures, features, fittings and machinery. Income generated from the operations will cover all the operational costs of the bakery, and the surplus will be reinvested into the cooperative reserve account in line with the provisions of the Co-operatives Act.

Councillor Ramokgopa emphasised that the City will implement the commitments made during the State of the Capital Address in May. Councillor Ramokgopa said: "We did not make promises during the State of the Capital Address, but commitments, which we are going to fulfil. This is the beginning of many initiatives that are in the pipeline, which are geared towards tackling the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. However, we are determined to go beyond the triple challenges by creating entrepreneurs, which is the case with the opening of this bakery today."

The initial target market for the bakery includes the local community, spaza shop owners and City of Tshwane departments. The Gauteng MEC for Health, Qedani Mahlangu, has committed provincial hospitals and clinics to become part of the bakery's market. In terms of the proposed operational model, the cooperative will focus on bread production. Other services such as packaging and distribution will be outsourced to other cooperatives in the region. This model aims to create job opportunities for various youth cooperatives in Tshwane.

The key objectives of the bakery initiative in the townships are:

  • Development and empowerment of cooperatives and SMMEs;
  • Development and empowerment of youth entrepreneurship;
  • Inclusion and participation of community members; and
  • Job creation and poverty eradication.

It is envisaged that this model will be replicated in other regions of Tshwane, subject to the success of the current pilot phase and the size of the operational model. 

(Credit: www.tshwane.gov.za)

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