In 2007, research was undertaken in six municipalities to determine the feasibility of implementing the waste collection model, and Mahikeng Municipality was regarded as the pilot project.
Other municipalities include Mbombela, Bushbuckridge, Emfuleni, Thulamela, and Nkomazi, to determine the feasibility of implementing the waste collection model.
“This handover is a great milestone and it further reiterates the significance and importance of integrated waste management. The waste sector offers great potential for job creation by extending waste services into areas that are currently unserviced and improve the waste collection systems in serviced areas,” Mabudhafasi.
The overall pilot is geared towards job creation, poverty alleviation, small and medium enterprise development, as well as skills development within communities in identified municipalities.
The project seeks to reduce backlog in domestic waste collection services through technical and financial support; achieve the objective of job creation, skills development and poverty eradication set for the Expanded Public Works Programme, implement a community-based approach to waste management and reduction that is aligned with the National Environmental Management Waste Act (No 59 of 2008) and government policy of waste reduction, reuse and recycling.
Before the inception of this ground-breaking project, 15 000 urban households received domestic waste collection services in Mahikeng, while as many as 55 000 rural households did not have access to refuse collection services.
Challenges with the waste collection services include the clearing of illegal dumpsites being compromised by insufficient and unreliable waste removal machinery. An additional challenge is in the form of the misuse of skips.
More than 31 000 households which previously did not receive waste management services are now beneficiaries. Five waste collection trucks were procured and five contractors appointed to use trucks for waste collection. A total of seventy (70) workers were further appointed to do actual waste collection from targeted households for the duration of the project. Each contractor was allocated 14 workers. Training was provided to both contractors and workers in order to capacitate them in areas of waste management and business management.
The project has brought dignity to, and improved the quality of life of many citizens in this area, says the Dep Minister.
“Based on the lessons learnt through this pilot, DEA aims to establish a model for municipal waste management that addresses backlogs in service delivery in the rest of the country.”
Dates for other municipalities to be made soon.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister called parties to the Protocol to celebrate the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer on September 16.