There are growing fears that the ambitious cooperatives scheme launched by the provincial government to generate employment and reduce poverty could be in ruins.
To date 93% of all the cooperatives were registered in name only but were not functioning.
Fund manager of Imvaba Cooperatives Fund under the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) Thabo Shenxane said lack of technical skills and support to operate the mostly agricultural cooperatives by largely illiterate rural villagers was the source of the problem.
One of the cooperatives in the Amathole district, the Dinilesizwe Women’s Primary Cooperative which is engaged in farming, producing beef and dairy products and which runs a broiler hatchery and piggery, suffered the loss of more than 300000 chickens being killed in its shelter during bad weather.
The huge loss could have been prevented if the group were equipped with requisite skills, said Shenxane.