Testing the suitability of SASCCO'S current strategies.
Zwane, Lillian Xolile.
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The Swaziland Association of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (S ASCCO) has been the focus of this study. It is envisaged that the research undertaken will be used to benchmark the cooperative's current strategy (reorganization) and help identify factors that will lead to a successful reorganization. SASCCO was officially registered as an apex body for all Savings and Credit Cooperatives (Saccos) in 1988 under the Cooperative Act of 1964. SASCCO is at present constructing a multi-million Emalangeni Cooperative Centre that will be wholly funded by its members. Dividends for members are expected to be not less than 12% a year. The cooperative is at its maturity stage. Its grand strategy is joint venturing with other cooperatives. It has further formed partnerships and strategic alliances with both local and international organizations. Its generic strategy is to create, market unique products and services for varied customer groups through differentiation. Its mission statement is "to be a member controlled and owned financial cooperative that establishes financially strong and sound savings and credit cooperative societies by providing them with quality financial, education and technical services in order to improve the socio-economic needs of their members at grass roots level". The management problem is finding a suitable reorganization strategy that will maximise shareholders' wealth and correctly position the Cooperative for the proposed Cooperative Bank. The Cooperative has serious financial problems, operating a poor balance sheet and lacks some key skills. The main objective of the research is, therefore, to analyze, assess and evaluate suitability of the Cooperative's current strategy based on both strategic and financial management views and then recommend a right way to a successful reorganization. A modified model adapted from (Johnson and Scholes, 1999) was used to map the whole study. The main findings centred on the Cooperative's reorganization's strategy and its suitability. Management is clear with the strategic direction. However, the strategy is not implemented and executed very well. SASCCO is capable and has the opportunity to own the largest market share in the financial arena due to the low interest rates it offers. It was concluded that the cooperative suffers because of its imbalanced capital structure and recommended that a suitable optimal capital structure would be found by gearing the cooperative adequately. However, due to the exploratory nature of the study, it was difficult to empirically investigate some of the issues fully. As a result, a further, more representative sample that will be able to generalize the results to the whole population is recommended.