Cookie cutter cooperatives in the KwaZulu-Natal school nutrition programme.
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This article examines an initiative by the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government to increase the income opportunities emerging from the school feeding programme. Since the inception of the programme, small medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) had been enlisted to provide schools with ingredients. However in 2006, the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government replaced some SMMEs with women’s cooperatives. By 2009, 12 of the original 42 cooperatives had collapsed, and some schools being serviced by these cooperatives complained of unreliable delivery of ingredients. This article examines the interface between policy and implementation through a case study of four cooperatives in one district. Our data suggests that some cooperatives struggled to take root as a result of a variety of factors which we discuss under the themes of viability, membership and skills. The top down creation of these cooperatives according to inflexible guidelines also resulted in significant problems.
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