Cooperative run by women won big at the provincial Community Builder of the Year awards held recently at the Convention Centre in Mahikeng.

A total of 16 social welfare organisations, drawn from all four districts in the province, fought it out in the Best Social Welfare Emerging, Income Generation and Best Practice Model categories.

Two cooperatives from Ngaka Modiri Molema district walked away with R50000 prize money each while a project from Moses Kotane local municipality became the third winner.

House of Hope non-profit organisation from Mahikeng came tops in the Social Welfare Emerging category.

Tlhoafalo Basadi Cooperative, a textile project from Bodibe village outside Mahikeng, was the best Income Generating Emerging project.

Project manager Kebogile Thomane, 49, said: “We started Tlhoafalo Basadi as four unemployed women in 2002 and to win this award after 10 years is a huge achievement for us.

“Since we started, we managed to purchase a site and erected a structure with the profit we generated from selling clothes. We are going to use this money to train staff members and buy a computer,” she said.

The other project, Millennium Success Cleaning Products from Moses Kotane won two prizes in a row. Earlier this year they won R25000 as Re a Dira district Community Builder of the Year. On this occasion, they bagged R40000 for being the best practice in income generation. The project produces and sells everyday cleaning products.

Ngaka Modiri Molema district emerged the overall winner and district manager in the social development department Nomvuko Nomga said she was happy to have defeated other regions.

“I am so excited, this is the result of team spirit and dedicated staff,” Momga said.

Social development MEC Mosetsanagape Mokomele-Mothibi said: “Despite service delivery challenges we are proud to witness many of our communities taking the initiative and improving lives through the formations of social welfare organisations competing here today.”