In the front, from left to right, are Traditional leader Vhamusanda Vho-Zwokundavhalala Radzilani, Ms Helen Silwane from SAFCOL Enterprise and Ward Cllr Edwin Mulefu, displaying one of the coffee tables that are being manufactured at the Limpuma Furniture Cooperative at Tshitavha Vhulaudzi.
Traditional leader Vhamusanda Vho-Zwokundavhalala Radzilani from Vhulaudzi-Tshitavha is greatly impressed with the progress made on the Limpuma Furniture Cooperative, a wood furniture-making project that was initiated at Tshitavha Vhulaudzi.
Radzilani, accompanied by government communication and information system officers, visited the project on 14 April.
Limpuma was established in 2015 and started with only a group of five apprentices from villages in Limpopo and Mpumalanga, who form part of the furniture-making training offered by the South African Forestry Company Limited (SAFCOL). Through their partnership with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), the cooperative received industrial furniture-manufacturing machines to kick-start their business operations.
The Limpuma Primarily Cooperative focuses on woodwork production, distributed within the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. Radzilani said that the visit was aimed at monitoring the cooperative and to determine whether it complied with the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP) as articulated by President Ramaphosa.
“We were impressed with the progress and work done by the project, which produces wood products such as coffee tables, desks, beds, coffins and many more. As traditional leaders we support community initiatives that promote economic development. That is why we make sure that the Limpuma cooperative gets our full support. We provided them with workspace to ensure that their dreams can be fulfilled,” he said.
According to Mr Mpho Neluheni, manager of Limpuma furniture, the Department of Social Development’s primary cooperative donated R500 000 for building an operational workshop, while Vhembe District Municipality donated R60 000 in June 2019.
“As young people we have to make sure that our learning skills do not go to waste. That is why we established a cooperative that the government and private sector are willing to support,” said Neluheni. “Communities are also benefiting from it, as sometimes we repair school desks for free and offer training for students from TVET colleges.
Ms Helen Silwane from SAFCOL Enterprise said that her organisation not only focused on generating profit but also on making sure that the lives of people living adjacent to their plantation were economically supported. “This is one of our mandates of ploughing back into our community. We have branches across the country that are benefiting from our programme at Limpuma. We support them with pine wood and are so pleased that the cooperative is growing in a way that benefits the community. This encourages us to extend our support,” Silwane said.
Date:24 April 2021 - By: Kaizer Nengovhela
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.