Twanano is a worker-owned cooperative located in Ivory Park, about 40 minutes from South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg. It was created in 2000 by 7 brave women and registered in 2003. With help and training from Phumani Paper Making Project, they now recycle paper and use it to produce ornamental paper sculptures as well as gift packaging and office stationary. Apart from the aim to manufacture their products, the objectives of Twanano include education and training of members in production and cooperative skills, promotion of the economic interests of the members, to create sustainable and democratic jobs for their members, in order to combat poverty and hunger in the community, and to contribute to local economic development in Ivory Park. The cooperative has expanded its activities to include vegetable production and sewing textiles such as bed covers and curtains. It is therefore providing a livelihood to seven people and their families and supplies the community with healthy, organic and affordable food. The cooperative would also like to expand in order to provide work to more women in Ivory Park. The cooperative does, however, face challenges, such as the lack of a market for its ornamental paper sculptures. They have therefore realised the need to diversify their operations, specifically towards creating a product that the local community in Ivory Park requires, such as toilet paper made from recycled paper. However, other challenges involve obtaining the resources required to purchase the necessary equipment. Nonetheless, the commitment shown by the members continues as they are planning how they will access such resources in order to take Twanano Paper Manufacturing Cooperative to the next level as a transformational force in Ivory Park.
International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and
Service Producers' Cooperatives
Secretariat: C/O European Cooperative House - avenue Milcamps 105
1030 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 543 1033, fax: +32 2 543 1037