JOHANNESBURG, S. Africa:July 2 (Xinhua) — The South African government will use the International Day of Cooperatives celebrations to recognize and strengthen the role of cooperatives towards economic development in South Africa, a government minister said on Monday.
Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies said the celebrations will focus on recognizing the role cooperatives play in the socio- economic development of its members and the role they play in building a better world.
“Cooperative promotion and development is a key socio-economic development agenda item for the government of South Africa which also recognizes the potential of cooperatives to improve the economic and social conditions of its members,” the minister said.
The day commemorates both the International Day of Cooperatives and also the International Year of Cooperatives. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2012 the International Year of Cooperatives.
South Africa has tried to create conducive conditions for the cooperatives, Davies said, adding ‘globally cooperatives are a key player in the economies of many countries and in South Africa.’
“As government, we are ensuring that a supportive environment is created in which cooperatives are not only promoted but are also developed as autonomous and sustainable business forms,” he said.
The South African government has scheduled celebrations in Kimberley on July 7 in partnership with the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, and the Cooperatives Movement in South Africa. (Xinhua)