Mar 30, 2012
Recycling has the potential to be profitable and create jobsBack
Johannesburg|Africa|Education|Environment|PROJECT|Project Management|Sustainable|Waste|Waste Management|Africa|South Africa|Environmental|Chris Liebenberg|Mvuselelo Mathebula|Suzan Oelofse|Waste
© Reuse this
“The Department of Trade and Industry has estimated that the South African recycling industry, operating at full capacity, could increase the number of direct employment opportunities to about 149 459 jobs. The crea- tion of these sustainable jobs would only be achieved if recycling has profitable supportive structures in place,” said IWMSA central branch chairperson Dr Suzan Oelofse.
She was speaking at an IWMSA workshop, with the theme ‘Is recycling viable?’, earlier this month, in Midrand.
City of Johannesburg waste policy and programmes deputy director Mvuselelo Mathebula said his department was currently working on a formal description for waste pickers to avoid the dehumanisation of this practise, for example, being called scavengers, besides other derogatory names.
“Currently, recycling does not provide attrac- tive profits but people who do it, do so to save the environment and are passionate about it. In a drive to formalise the sector, we have started to meet with waste pickers to [put in place] inter- ventions to assist them with better working conditions and support.
“The City of Johannesburg is targeting 4 000 green jobs by 2015 through maintaining and establishing buy-back centres and community recycling initiatives, and formalising waste pickers. A solid plan needs to be put in place to enforce a structured waste management programme,” he said.
However, Mathebula added that not all waste pickers are keen to be registered, as they want to retain their independence. The municipality only has about 687 registered waste pickers on its database and a pilot project is under way to provide them with protective clothing, such as gloves, glasses and overalls.
“The second phase of the pilot project is to provide them with sponsored trolleys, as they are particular about the kind of trolleys they want. We are on a massive drive to source trolleys,” he said.
The City of Johannesburg plans to issue waste pickers with identity cards and get them to form cooperatives. Another aim is to continue hosting knowledge-sharing meetings for the benefit of their growth and our communities, said Mathebula.
He noted a significant challenge for the municipality was a lack of financial support from private funders to implement all the necessary initiatives to benefit and formalise the sector.
Meanwhile, waste collection company Wasteplan MD Bertie Lourens said materials recycling facilities need to be explored in South Africa but, currently, they are expensive to operate, as the country is not on par with its global counterparts in this technology.
Multidisciplinary project management firm Worley Parsons waste and environmental manager Chris Liebenberg said there is a need for government to accelerate awareness of the potential value of recyclables to improve recycling profitability.
“This can be achieved through fostering public education and involvement, assisting in establishing outlets to receive reclaimed materials, besides other interventions,” added Liebenberg.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Environment News
Updated 3 hours ago There is widespread consensus that the Price Preference System (PPS) –introduced in September 2013 to restrict the export of scrap metal before it had first been offered for sale to the domestic consumers at a 20% discount to an international benchmark price – has...
Updated 1 hour 40 minutes ago The World Trade Organisation (WTO) on Thursday adopted the Bali trade reform package, putting the organisation’s negotiations back on track, WTO director general Roberto Azevêdo said. The 160 WTO members on Thursday took three decisions –clarifying the Bali Decision...
Updated 1 hour 44 minutes ago Zimbabwe expects lacklustre economic growth next year, hit by a lack of foreign investment, low commodity prices, a liquidity crunch in the financial sector and weak domestic savings, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said on Thursday. In his 2015 budget to...
Updated 2 hours 53 minutes ago Barack Obama last year told a cheering crowd in Cape Town that a $7-billion plan to "Power Africa" would double electricity output on the world's poorest continent and bring "light where currently there is darkness". A year later, the US president's flagship project...
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
As the City of Ekurhuleni continues its bid to develop the largely industrialised metropole into the continent’s first aerotropolis, executive mayor Mondli Gungubele has committed the city to creating a predictable, stable and enabling business environment in which...
While Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) did not have “significant issues” with power supply in Gauteng, it was a different story in the Eastern Cape, said FMCSA and American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa president Jeff Nemeth earlier this month....
In 2000, exports into Africa from South Africa represented less than 5% of the turnover of Federal Mogul Motorparts Africa, with sales largely centred around Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. Today, African exports represent 30% of sales, with trade expanded...
The Malawi government has launched a $50-million project to upgrade the Kamuzu barrage, on the Shire river, an outlet of Lake Malawi, which is used to control the flow of water from the lake to the lower Shire area. The project will run from this year to 2017 and...
Our new Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges will replace the Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges which have served us for the past twenty years. The buildings will be the same and most of the staff will be the same but as the...