Deputy Minister uses time to collect, separate waste

Friday, July 18, 2014

Pretoria - Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Barbara Thompson, has dedicated her 67 minutes for Madiba to collecting waste, separating it for recycling and diverting it away from a landfill site.

South Africans across the country have heeded the call by President Jacob to take 67 minutes of their time to clean-up cities, towns, townships, villages, schools and beautify every part of the country on Mandela Day.

Mandela Day is commemorated on 18 July, which was the late former President Nelson Mandela’s birthday.

Deputy Minister Thompson spent her Mandela Day in Pietermaritzburg - where the department is supporting the uMsunduzi Local Municipality with the Wastepreneur and Jobs in Waste for Youth programmes.

The programmes focus on job creation within the waste section, youth unemployment, waste collection, separation, recycling and skills development within the context of the green economy.

They are funded through the National Green Fund and the environmental programmes under the Expanded Public Works Programme.

The Wastepreneur programme facilitates community collection of recyclable materials and exchanges them for either credit notes, or barter items such as bicycles, building materials and other livelihood support items of their choice.

Currently, the barter value stands at an amount of R3 731 973. To date, the programme is working with 90 schools, 11 charities and expands across 83 communities which provides livelihoods support for 5 218 wasteprenuers. A total of 7 686 438 kg’s of recyclables have been collected and recycled.

The Jobs in Waste for Youth programme is being implemented over a period of 12 months. The target group for the programme is the youth with at least a matric level of education.

Further work opportunities will be created from the construction activities associated with the building and erection of landfill site offices, ablution facilities as well as weigh-pad platforms at landfill sites across the country. 

A total of 772 jobs have been created through the Jobs in Waste for Youth programme in KwaZulu-Natal in 50 municipalities - of which 454 jobs are allocated to women.

“The waste sector has been identified as one of the critical sectors, with the potential to contribute substantially to the generation of jobs within the green economy,” the deputy minister said at the event on Friday.

She said it was for this reason that the department was expanding its programmes in job creation and enterprise development within the waste sector. –

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