At least twenty-five co-operatives were empowered during a textile and fashion show held in Bethlehem on Wednesday and Thursday last week. The show was organised by the Executive Mayor of Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality, Councillor Malefu Vilakazi. The district municipality used the event to help provide an opportunity for women who produce clothes as a business to showcase their work. Several stakeholders visited the show and offered business advice to the co-operatives owners. Some of the stakeholders that attended the event were SEDA and Destea.
Speaking to Dumelang News, Vilakazi said the show has done a lot in terms of uplifting the economy in the area. She said that co-operatives have also gained an opportunity to market their products. “Some of government departments were part of this show and we are happy that the guest houses and other places were used for accommodation purposes. Again we believe that our co-operatives will also use this opportunity to learn more on how to put their products on the market,” said Vilakazi.
She added that with such initiatives, the municipality is trying to fight poverty and lack of jobs in the area. “We are trying to support our co-operatives because it is very difficult for everyone to rise above economic conditions and be known in the country by the good work they do,” Vilakazi said. One of the exhibitors at the show, Masello Mollo said she has learnt a lot during the event.
She said she will ensure that she markets herself to a point that her clothing production houses supply schools, clinics and police stations with uniforms she produced. Mamotshewa Lebakeng who produces traditional outfit said the clothing industry is one of the best in the country. “This industry needs to be taken serious because everyone needs clothes one way or the other,” she said.