“Make sure that you use water more than once so that we can ensure that those (who) are not serviced do get services,” said Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane at the launch of the Bulk Water Supply Scheme in the iLembe District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.She appealed to the beneficiaries of the Lower Tugela Bulk Water Supply Scheme to not only save water, but to reuse it too.
The R1.32-billion project, which was launched on 22 March, includes the infrastructure required to abstract and treat water from the uThukela River to supply to secondary bulk and reticulation networks within the iLembe District Municipality.These networks will supply both developed and unserved areas. On completion, the scheme will reach a total of 750 000 inhabitants.”As we continue to bring this infrastructure into place, let us ensure that we do not do illegal connections, steal water or destroy infrastructure,” Mokonyane said.She encouraged those who could afford to pay for water services to do so, while those who could not pay should register as unable to pay.”The first phase of the Umgeni component is due for commissioning by May 2016,” she said. “The first phase is designed to produce 55 mega-litres of potable water per day. The design, however, is such that it is relatively easily upgraded to a 110 mega-litre plant.”Some 1 163 job opportunities have been created by the project to date.
SA IS missing out on huge job opportunities and the creation of new industries that would arise if the country was to invest in waste management, says the director of the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of SA (Redisa), Stacey Davidson.
With SA generating 108-million tonnes of waste per year, and R17bn worth of other waste products being buried at landfills, recycling offered immense opportunities. “We need to build our recycling industry across all commodities because waste will be the only place where we will get resources from in future.”
Nonprofit Redisa has helped create 216 small businesses and 2,900 permanent jobs through waste tyre management alone over the past two years.
The company’s establishment followed the decision by the Department of Environmental Affairs in 2012 that the tyre industry be the first in SA to develop an industry waste management plan.
In 2012 only 4% of waste tyres were being recycled, with the rest ending up at landfills or burnt. The rate has since risen to 35% as at the end of August. An estimated 200,000 waste tyres are generated every year in SA.
Department of Environmental Affairs deputy director-general for chemical and waste management Mark Gordon conceded that waste management was a “big area of opportunity for SA” and could generate as much as R50bn per year.
Industry waste management plans for paper, plastic and electronics were under consideration.
“We hope these plans will be finalised by the end of the year and we also hope to create in excess of 50,000 jobs within the next few years.”
Tyre dealers register with Redisa as collection points for worn-out tyres, which are then collected, stored and processed by the small businesses created through the programme.
With 44% of South African households not serviced for waste collection, emulating the success in the waste tyre industry in others, such as plastic, paper and glass, could benefit the economy.
“As you build up these industries, jobs will be created, which will drive up your taxpayer base and improve your fiscus and the gross domestic product,” Ms Davidson said.
DURBAN – A standoff between Ethekwini municipality and Umlazi business leaders has halted waste collection in the township.
The waste collectors in the area suspended their operation three weeks ago after they were allegedly threatened by local business leaders and the uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans (MKMVA).
Local businesses are accusing the municipality of sidelining them in business deals. It’s still not yet clear when refuse will be collected again in Umlazi.
The streets continue piling up with rubbish as the local business forum and MKMVA refuse removal contractors.
They allegedly threatened contractors and forced them to stop collections.
Members of MKMVA claim that they had been promised work by the municipality as subcontractors last year, but it has yet to happen.
Although no formal agreement between the two parties was finalized, it was understood by the veterans that they be given priority over outside contractors for all business and job opportunities.
“Our members felt neglected for so long. They felt that the municipality is not giving them opportunities with regards to business and they were promised before” said MKMVA chairperson in Umlazi Zamindlela Mbhele.
Currently, there are talks between the municipality and the affected parties.
However the municipality said its waste collectors are now continuing with their work under the watchful eye of Metro Police.
“Our Durban Solid Waste team is there accompanied by the police even over the weekend they were accompanied by members of the South African police and our metro police services and waste is being removed,” said Ethekwini Municipal spokesperson Sthembiso Mshengu.
Residents will have to wait until the MKMVA meets with the Ethekwini municipality next week to find out if a resolution can be reached.
Until then, they will be forced to endure unsanitary rubbish-filled streets.