Forty Enoch Mgijima co-operatives involved in the waste industry received certificates after completing a waste management course initiated by the Chris Hani Development Agency (CHDA) last Thursday.
This forms part of the R30m waste management project funded by the environmental affairs department that seeks to build waste transfer stations in Lesseyton, Ilinge, Mlungisi, Whittlesea and the Ezibeleni landfill site which will be the main one.
CHDM CEO Zolile Duze said the forty trainees were members of eight different co-operatives in the Enoch Mgijima area who were already working with waste.
“This is a project of the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality and we, as the agency, manage it. The municipality was approached for funding by the co-operatives which were already informally involved in waste management. We took them to training so they could assist us in the transfer stations once they are up and running.”
Duze indicated that the project was approved in 2014, but due to delays, implementation began in 2017 and was ongoing.
“Implementation was delayed by the constant changing of the business plan and by the time it was concluded three years later, steel prices had gone up and we could not build all the waste transfer stations planned. The R30m was meant to cover five waste management sites, with the Ezibeleni landfill site as the main one.”
He said the erstwhile Lukhanji municipality could not find a suitable area in Mlungisi for a waste management site as the one they had identified was meant for the building of a police station.
“We have since made site applications in Mlungisi and Whittlesea. The co-operatives involved will collect, sort and class waste and bring it to the main site where bulking and processing would be conducted, depending on the volume received.”
Poshido Trading training facilitator, Sihle Gobela, who trained members of the co-operatives, said the students were taught four different unit standards as part of their course.
“We trained them on what they were already doing so they may be good at it and do it the correct way. We trained them in waste collection, transportation, treatment and disposal which they can apply in their daily lives without even being involved in the big project.”
He said during training they highlighted how to turn waste management into a profitable and lucrative business that people did not know about unless the right research was conducted.