African Reclaimers Organisation (ARO) is a Johannesburg based organisation of informal reclaimers who collect recyclables from Johannesburg’s streets and landfills. There are an estimated 6,000 reclaimers who perform this work in Johannesburg.
For two years there have been stop-start engagements between the organised reclaimers and the City of Johannesburg over the recognition of the work performed by reclaimers. Progress has faltered, leaving the reclaimers frustrated. Adding to their frustration is the fact that the City has given the workers no credit or compensation for the additional work they have been doing to assist in getting reclaimers registered by the City, as part of a data collection process.
On Thursday 2nd May, 2019, the reclaimers will be marching on Pikitup, the MMC for Environment and Planning, and the Mayor to present a set of demands.
Reclaimers will gather at Mary Fitzgerald Square from 09.00 and will proceed to Braamfontein at 11.00, where a memorandum of demands will be handed over. The demands to the City, which should be responded to within 14 days, are as follows:
- An end to your attempts to take our jobs from us. Stop your plans to contract companies to take away our only means of survival.
- Suspend plans to close landfills without discussing alternative forms of livelihoods for those who save the city millions of rands by mining recyclables in landfills.
- The negotiated Framework agreement for integration of Reclaimers must be ratified by the City.
- There must be discussions on implementing Recycling hubs around the city to allow for access to transport, bailing facilities and sanitation stations for Reclaimers.
- Reclaimers who are assisting with Registration of all recyclers must be compensated for their time, transportation and food costs for the duration of the campaign.
- The City must fully participates in initiatives between Reclaimers, businesses and residents to improve recycling rates Johannesburg
- The City must assist Reclaimers with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all Reclaimers registered with the city.
- The City must make a formal declaration to fully implement Department of Environmental Affairs Waste Picker guidelines, with clear time frames.
Further details of the reasons behind the march are contained in the attached letter sent to MMC de Jager.