Waste project to increase access to services

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mafikeng - The Mafikeng Rural Domestic Waste Collection project launched on Thursday will not only create jobs but ensure communities have access to refuse removal services.

"We are aware that 78 percent of households do not receive a domestic waste service collection. It is only few who receive this service. This situation cannot be allowed," said Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabhudafhasi.

Speaking at the launch, the deputy minister said the three-year pilot project would benefit 30 000 rural households in and around Mafikeng. It will also create 100 new jobs with five contracts zones that service 6 000 households.

Government has allocated R34 million to cover costs of delivering the waste removal service and providing the required technical assistance.

Ms Mabhudafhasi said that the project would help minimise the risk that waste poses to the environment and human health, while addressing backlogs in service delivery.

The main goal of the pilot project includes developing and refining a labour intensive model of domestic waste collection that will be rolled out widely through municipalities throughout the country and region.

"It is important that clean ups are inclusive of both the public and private sectors," the deputy minister said, adding that the community of Mafikeng must be the drivers of the initiative.

"It is you that will make the project sustainable while creating employment and cleaning the country. It is how you can come up with projects in order to create jobs," she said.

The department is working with Indalo Yethu, who are responsible for education and awareness campaigns and the Buyisa-e-Bag, who assist in putting up buy back and recycling centres.

The launch follows the signing of an agreement between Mafikeng local municipality and the department to extend refuse removal services to rural and peri urban settlements.

Kealeboga Motioa from Majemantsho village, said he would try and learn as much as possible from the initiative so that he could open his own recycling business one day.