Condolences for Simon Mbata

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Barbara Creecy and Deputy Minister, Makhotso Sotyu have expressed their deepest condolences at the passing of South African Waste Pickers Association (SAWPA) National Coordinator Simon Mbata.

The SAWPA is one of the organisations formed to promote, protect and defend the rights of waste pickers in the country. Mbata who was its advocate, was also a member of the Global Alliance of Waste Pickers.

The waste pickers’ role has been widely recognised nationally and internationally including at the current United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) 5.2 held in Kenya, Nairobi, this week.

“At national level, collaboration with South African Waste Pickers Association (SAWPA), African Reclaimers Organisation (ARO), the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) and the Department of Science and Innovation led to the development of guidelines for the integration of waste pickers in the municipal waste management systems. Mbata participated in the inaugural 2019 Plastic Colloquium in his capacity as the Chairperson of SAWPA,” the Department said on Thursday.

In 2020, he also worked with the private sector and the DFFE to facilitate relief support to waste pickers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic that affected the waste collection systems.

On 18 February 2022, the day before he met his untimely death, Mbata briefed the Portfolio Committee on Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment on matters affecting the waste pickers.

“Minister Creecy, Deputy Minister Sotyu convey a message of comfort to his family, friends and colleagues,” the department said. –


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