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Waste becomes wages

A successful government waste management programme has created temporary employment for 190 youth whilst ensuring a litter-free environment.

Bokone Bophirima’s Department of Local Government and Human Settlements has invested over R2.5 million in waste management, in at least 10 of its municipalities, through its Youth in Waste Management Programme.The North West provincial government spends R2.5 million in waste management, in at least 10 of its municipalities

The  programme created temporary employment for 190 youth in the North West’s Lekwa Teemane, Ditsobotla, Ratlou, Greater Taung, Kgetlengrivier, Mamusa, Moretele, Tswaing, Maquassi Hills and Ramotshere Moiloa local municipalities from July 2017 to January 2018.

The programme assisted these municipalities with waste removal and the operation and maintenance of waste and illegal dumping sites, and generated awareness around waste management, including recycling, and waste removal, from schools, sidewalks, parks and central business districts.

The youth was encouraged to take part in waste management ventures and partnerships were forged with stakeholders for implementation.

Municipalities were responsible for recruiting participants, through their ward councillors, and they  targeted unemployed youth, the disabled, child-headed households and the poor. Participants received a monthly stipend of R1 800 and a certificate of participation.  

Modise Ngazire (28) from Setlagole in Ratlou said the programme  gave him necessary work exposure and ensured that  he could put food on the table every day and buy necessities for his two children.

Ngazire, who is an orphan, matriculated in 2008. He was selected from Ratlou municipality’s database of unemployed youth to participate in the programme. “I am very grateful for the opportunity that was presented to me, at a time when I desperately needed it, and I wish that the programme could run in the next financial year so that other unemployed young people can  have the same opportunity and gain the experience that I  did,” he said.