News and updates from the continent

REDISA waste collectors provide for families

REDISA waste collectors provide for families

Jun 30, 2015

For John Maphanga, making a living from other people’s rubbish was not an obvious career choice, but thanks to REDISA (the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa) Plan he and his friends are now able to provide for their families and make a difference in their communities.

John joined the REDISA Plan in May 2014 as part of the Zakhele Primary cooperative. John walks the streets of Mamelodi collecting and aligning waste tyres for REDISA transporters to collect. John is a micro collector, or waste collector – one of the many people we see cleaning our streets on a daily basis to put food on their families’ tables.

John was recently celebrated at the REDISA recognition awards for his role in promoting, and bringing to life the REDISA ‘Waste into Worth’ concept. John has been involved in motivating other members of the cooperative to collect waste tyres and to generate income for themselves. The tyres he collects are shared among the members of his cooperative.

“I am happy to be working with REDISA and being given the opportunity to earn an honest living. Jobs are scarce in our country and it is important for us to create our own opportunity in order to make a living and boost the economy. We receive a lot of support and assistance from REDISA.”

John is testament to how lives can change when companies invest in people and encourage them to look further than traditional employment for opportunities to better their lives. For many individuals and families waste collecting has become a means of survival.

The number of micro collector, like John, is starting to rise but they remain invisible to many. These individuals are playing their role in helping the government achieve a better waste management system.

Within two years of operation, REDISA has made significant strides towards building a viable and sustainable tyre waste management industry, and believes that micro collectors are key to its success. “We are proud of the impact the initiative has had for the many people both employed by REDISA, and those supported by secondary industries.” Commented REDISA director Stacey Davidson.

To date the REDISA initiative has created 2 102 jobs. In the time REDISA has opened 42 depots across the country and services 1851 dealers nationally.

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