The Waste Recyclers Project, which will be launched on Sunday in Ekurhuleni, is expected to create jobs, establish new enterprises and stimulate the local green economy.
The project will be rolled-out in all five development corridors that make up Gauteng City Region (GCR), namely West Rand, Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg, Tshwane and Sedibeng.
“We are launching the Waste Recycler’s Project aimed at integrating informal recyclers through cooperatives into the mainstream waste economy, providing an income earning opportunity for large numbers of poor people within our communities and pursuing alternatives for land filling through encouraging recycling and re-use.
“The project will also help to save municipalities money by reducing the volume of waste that needs to be collected, transported and disposed of through the promotion of recovery and reprocessing of recyclables,” the Gauteng Department of Economic Development, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development said on Wednesday in a statement.
The department is expected to hand over 200 branded motorised three-wheeler vehicles to local waste co-operatives and small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs). A total of 200 drivers and 200 assistants will be employed to operate these motorised three-wheelers.
“We will also be providing receptacles to 2 000 households for sorting at source and offering capacity building and skills transfer to these informal waste recyclers, so that we can improve their potential to earn a sustainable income, as well as capture a larger portion of the waste economy value chain.
“This sector, like most South African industries, is dominated by big monopolies across the entire value chain. Our intervention is aimed at changing the face and ownership of this sector to include historically disadvantaged individuals (HDIs),” the department said.
The project will also help to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of waste services within communities, grow the contribution of the waste economy to the green economy and increase community awareness of the impact of waste on their health, well-being and the environment.
The 12-month pilot project will be launched at Mehlareng Stadium in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni.
The department said this project presents another significant step to radically transform the economy in line with the Gauteng Economic Development Plan’s strategic interventions.
The project is also in line with the Department of Trade and Industry’s commitment to promote cooperatives.
“We believe that the waste sector has potential to contribute meaningfully towards Gross Domestic Product and economic growth… [We] are exploring new, innovative ways of building its capacity and creating opportunities for new entrants,” the department said.