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 News This Week News
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
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.
This Week's Magazine
South Africa remains an important manufacturing and export platform for Ford Motor Company, says executive chairperson Bill Ford. However, he adds that other countries on the continent are “becoming interesting”, and that the US carmaker is casting its net wider for...
Germany’s Max-Planck-Society (MPG) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPlfR) are investing €11-million (about R150-million) into South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array programme. The money will be used to design, build and install S-band radio...
Infrastructure spend in sub-Saharan Africa will grow from $70-billion in 2013 to $180-billion by 2025, says PwC capital projects and infrastructure Africa leader Jonathan Cawood. This is one of the findings of PwC’s Capital Projects & Infrastructure report on East...
Private-owned defence and aerospace manufacturer Paramount Group and the Ichikowitz Family Foundation unveiled its Anti-Poaching Skills and K9 Training Academy in Magaliesburg last month.
The inclusion of Bluetooth to provide sub-three meter accuracy and heightened functionality for users is one of the ways to change existing wireless networks into engagement networks. An engagement network differs from common wireless networks in that it enables the...