SAWPA has been in negotiations with government at all levels about their recognition, particularly receiving recognition in some municipal areas that has since resulted in new projects on the ground. There are various projects in which SAWPA members are involved.
The South African Waste Pickers’ Association (SAWPA) are in the process of registering with REDISA as tyre collectors and/or transporters. Waste pickers are already in the business of recycling and this plan is just adding one more waste stream to collect.
Instead of supporting the local social economy, Msunduzi Municipality has signed an agreement with Wildlands Conservation Trust to take all recyclable waste from Pietermaritzburg.
SAWPA came together in November to object to the proposal by EnviroServ to construct a waste incineration facility at the Chloorkop waste site, calling on the government to deny EnviroServ permission to build a waste incinerator facility at Chloorkop.
Despite South Africa’s waste management legislation stipulating that incineration be the last resort in waste disposal, approximately 300 waste pickers on the Chloorkop landfill in Kempton Park are set to lose their jobs as a result of Enviroserve’s proposed waste-to-energy incinerator.
On May 15 and 16, 2013 over 400 people attended the Joburg Waste Summit, hosted by the Johannesburg Council and its waste management company Pikitup. The Council and Pikitup urgently need to find ways to minimize waste going to landfill, and the Summit was called to explore how to do this. WIEGO and SAWPA argued that landfill reclaimers need to be included in all discussions and new recycling initiatives.
The South African Waste Picker’s Association (SAWPA) is in solidarity with waste pickers across the globe. We would like to commemorate the day of remembrance of all waste pickers around the world who die on the streets or landfills. Those Men and Women who we witness everyday being brutalized, beaten to death, shot, run over by trucks while trying to earn a living through waste recycling.
How do waste picking jobs link up with threatening climate change? Waste pickers from across South Africa will learn about, and discuss this issue in a three day workshop. Together with waste pickers from India, Latin America, Kenya and Senegal they will prepare for the Cop 17 … COP 17 begins on 28 November. While this conference is happening waste pickers will have their own meetings … December 3 is a global day of action. All members of civil society, including the trade unions and environmental organisations, will demonstrate the importance of protecting our planet against disaster. Waste pickers will come out in their numbers to state that they are mitigating the effects of climate change by recycling waste so governments should value them and give them good support and opportunities.