Assistant Minister of Investment Trade and Industry, Biggie Butale says his ministry has made efforts to resuscitate, revamp and redirect the development of co-operatives into globally competitive business.
Butale made the remarks at the rebranding and launch of Thuto Savings and Credit Co-operative Society (SACCOS) new logo and website this week.
Thuto was formed by employees of Ministry of Education to revive savings from members creating a pool from which members could access loans at affordable interest.
Butale said co-operatives have proven to be sustainable forms of business enterprises that have managed to remain afloat despite the economic challenges.
He said co-operatives have remained relevant and indispensable.
“Technological advancement, trade liberalization and globalization mean co-operative businesses can no longer be run as socially-oriented businesses. They need to change their business approach to embrace modern business practices, diversify their products and market and run by people with a business mindset. Co-operatives remain important particularly to the majority of Batswana who have no alternative ways and means of individually setting up income generating activities through which they can improve their standard of living,” said Butale
He said co-operatives have a significant impact in addressing the Socio-economic needs of their members.
He said some of the challenges that led to decline of co-operatives are mismanagement and fraud, attraction and retention of skilled employees and inadequate members’ commitment.
Thuto SACCOS Chairperson, Charles Keikothae, said in their efforts to grow and increase membership they decided to open membership to all government and parastatals employees.
He said SACCOS can be an effective tool for economic diversification and job creation.
He said when someone struggles to save due to lack of finance SACCOS can play a meaningful role and save Batswana from being bankrupt.