Cape Town residents have been urged to make reducing, reusing and recycling a part of their daily routine.
In line with the Presidency’s Good Green Deeds campaign, aimed at encouraging South Africans to take responsibility for keeping the environment clean, on Friday March 29, MEC for Local Government Anton Bredell handed over 13 bikes and certificates to the 11 beneficiaries who attended a three-month course at Ithemba Labantu in Philippi.
The bikes will help informal waste recyclers collect and transport recyclables, and give a boost to the local economy by creating jobs.
Handing over the bikes, which are fitted with large baskets for storing recyclable material, on the back, Mr Bredell said his department sought to better capacitate the entrepreneurs.
“The purpose is to promote recycling industry. We want to promote good health and for people to recycle. We also want to use these informal recyclers as ambassadors of cleaning.
“We have trained them in first aid training too. Today we are also giving them certificates. But most important is to get people into jobs and to grow our economy,” he said.
The donation was welcomed by recyclers. Robin Classen from Heinz Park, said the bikes were more reliable than the shopping trolleys they were currently using.
“This will give us a leeway to use roads too. The motorists and especially amaphela were always hooting at us and that is over now. We will use the roads like them. And this will give us a chance to go far.”
Another beneficiary from Crossroads, Nozuko Maphutheni, said the bikes would make it easier for them to get around.
“I am excited to be among the beneficiaries. We have been struggling to drag the waste around the townships. But now we will be able to put it on the bike and drive around. It also helps us with movements on the roads,” she added.
Director of Ithemba Labantu Reverend Otto Kohlstock, said his organisation was excited about this successful joint project with the Western Cape Government and looked forward to the next one.
“We are very honoured to get such recognition in Phillippi. It was not an easy journey but we managed to come up tops. We are extremely excited and looking forward to the next project with the government,” he said.