Co-operatives in Gauteng: a quantitative study Broad Based BEE or Push Back Into Poverty?

The Co-operative and Policy Alternative Center (COPAC) conducted this survey in an attempt to develop a better understanding of the support environment, institutional capacity and practices of co-operatives and the co-operative movement in Gauteng Province. COPAC has worked to build co-operatives in Gauteng for the past six years. Through its experience in building co-operatives COPAC realized that there was a lack of reliable and accurate research on the state of cooperatives in the province. It is COPAC’s belief that to accurately assess the most appropriate ways various institutions such as support organizations, government programs, or external agencies can provide assistance to co-operatives, reliable and up-to-date information of the needs, challenges, and current state of co-operatives in the province is necessary. Most importantly this kind of research-based information is necessary for co-operatives and the co-operative movement to problem solve and build up their own capacity for self-reliant development.

This report is the first in a two-part study on co-operatives in Gauteng. This report covers the quantitative survey of existing co-operatives in Gauteng. The second report is a qualitative research report based on twenty case studies of co-operatives in various sectors and locations in the province. The qualitative report builds on the quantitative report and will be released in 2006.

The quantitative survey focused on key questions concerning the formation, membership, type of activities, the capacity level, the forms of support, and finances of co-operatives. In summarizing the tremendous amount of data collected the report focuses on the following areas:

  • Formation of co-operatives
  • Structure and membership
  • Activities
  • Capacity, Support, and Assets
  • Finances

We conclude the report with a summary of findings and recommendations for addressing the problems and challenges identified.