MEC Somoyo launches Working on Waste Programme in Port Elizabeth

23 June 2016


The Eastern Cape MEC of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Mr Sakumzi Somyo launched the Working on Waste (WoW) programme today, 23 June 2016, in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape. 

The WoW programme seeks to address the problem of increased volumes of waste and the backlog in the provision of waste services especially in urban-informal areas, tribal areas and rural formal areas. The objective is to provide support in the development of waste management capacity as well as infrastructure & equipment in underserviced areas. WoW forms part of the Department of Environmental Affairs Expanded Public Works Programme. Labour intensive methods are used thus contributing to job creation, skills development and small business development opportunities.

The support provided through the WoW Programme includes but is not limited to installing and constructing of waste bins, sorting facilities, composting facilities, transfer stations, buyback centres, material recovery facilities, and landfill sites. In addition, the programme also assists with capacity building for local government in terms of street cleaning, waste collection, landfill administration and operation, and waste recycling. This is achieved through recruiting, capacitating and placing the youth, women and people with disabilities in municipalities.

In the 2014/15 – 2015/16 financial years, the WoW programme committed funding to 130 projects nationally to the value of R 1.2 billion and to date has successfully implemented a total of 85 projects. The Eastern Cape receives the largest portion of the budgetary allocation for the Working on Waste programme with R343 384 401-00 being ploughed into 20 projects until 2019. 

Launching the Programme on behalf of Environmental Affairs Minister, Mrs Edna Molewa, MEC Somyo highlighted job opportunities created by the programme.A total of 13829 work opportunities have been created through the programme in all nine provinces, of these, 3198 have been created here in Eastern Cape. A total of 9819 job opportunities, 71% of the sum have been created for the youth, 59% or 8159 work opportunities were created for women and 2,6% or 360 job opportunities were created for people with disabilities.”

The WoW programme also provides skills development, meaning that skilled people recruited into the project are taken through accredited training based on their education levels and career aspirations in order to increase their chances of finding employment, self-employment and further training after participation in projects. On completion of the training, they receive accredited certificates of competency in various fields.”

85 youth have been employed to collect waste, clean illegal dumps and raise waste awareness in the area. Another important environmental and job creation project in Ward 40 is the Working on Wetlands project .The programme which began in June 2016 sentails clearing of alien invasive plant species from the hillslope seepage wetlands which are important in providing a base water flow to the Chetty River. This project, which ends in March 2017, presently employs 30 beneficiaries, which comprises; 17 youth, 13 women and 2 people living with a disability.   

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