By co-operating with various local institutions involved in the promotion of co-operatives in South Africa, DGRV aims at:
- Promoting the gradual development of an adopted cooperative system in South Africa while ensuring that the needs of the members are met.
- Promoting efficient, member-supported and member oriented cooperative enterprises with the longterm aim to interlink these cooperatives into an integrated system of cooperative institutions (secondary and tertiary cooperatives owned by primary and/or secondary cooperatives and cooperative federations) on regional/national level.
- Promoting an adequate legal framework for a sustainable development of co-operatives.
- Promoting a consistent approach for training in cooperatives (member-education, training of staff and management, training of trainers). Introduction of training-modules covering administrative aspects, cooperative management and co-operative policies, all closely adopted to the needs of groups, cooperatives and its members.
- Supporting the development of a system of savings-and-credit cooperatives for rural and urban areas.
- Promoting a system of cooperative auditing (audit upon formation of a cooperative, audit of business activities, management performance audit).
Furthermore, DGRV is and was engaged in a number of other activities such as advice on the drafting of the new Cooperative Act and the Cooperative Banks Bill, the design of cooperative audit standards and principles, and taxation of cooperatives.
The underlying principle for DGRV's work is that co-operatives are institutions led by economic principles to serve the economic and social interests of their members within the market economy. DGRV's approach is to start from what the people know and have. Cooperatives should be sensitive to the customs, local structures and experience of local people.
People are already involved in many cooperatively organised self-help activities such as stokvels (rotating savings and credit associations) and burial societies. Group association, group cooperation and group responsibility are basic elements of African societies.
Our development and consultancy activities are performed with the objective to foster both local and economic development (especially SMME) and to contribute to poverty alleviation through:
- To reduce poverty through organized self-help groups/coops
- To strengthen co-operative structures in agriculture, service and financial sector
- To promote multi-level approach; the measures focus on all levels (micro, meso, macro) the creation of integrated cooperative system
- strengthening partner cooperative organisations (sustainable co-operative
- systems and institution-building, organisational development);
- promoting cooperative know-how transfer by training activities;
- strengthening savings and credit cooperatives in rural areas;
- introducing cooperative auditing systems and
- advising national governments, banking supervision authorities and other public bodies on cooperative law, auditing and supervision of cooperatives.
In its international work, DGRV co-operates with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), which to a large extent provides financing of our projects.
In fulfilling its mandate, DGRV is providing advice and assistance to cooperatives in South Africa. These activities range from agricultural cooperatives, to savings and credit cooperatives, and to cooperatively organised self-help initiatives in townships.