When Tsholofelo Kungwane and fellow community members decided to start a recycling service three years ago, they chose to set up their enterprise as a co-operative. They hoped to tap into the millions of rand in grants and loans that government offers such ventures.Her co-operative, Katlego Movement, was able to get support worth R7m from the departments of environmental affairs and social development in the form of a refurbished building and stipends to cover wages and training for 14 employees.Though Katlego Movement has barely broken even, Kungwane is hoping that a R150,000 prize it received at the International Co-operatives Day in Nelspruit earlier this month will help finance a new plastic-cleaning machine that could boost revenue.Kungwane is one of more than 600,000 South Africans who belong to co-operatives. But experts say government is setting many up for failure — through promises of grants and contracts — when very few even get out of the starting blocks.By March 31 a to...

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