Unisa helps Bushbuckridge municipality empower locals with know-how in recycling

It’s a programme aimed at fighting the fast rising unemployment in the area but also in tackling the environmental issues that litter causes.


The University of South Africa or Unisa is currently entering into an agreement with the Bushbuckridge local municipality in the province for a programme that will see the locals’ knowledge in recycling improved and the waste economy formalised, with more chances of money realised in the sector.

The municipality says they decided to do this after they discovered that they were actually struggling to maintain and keep the area clean. People are living with litter everywhere everyday and this was mainly due to the issue of the rural municipality not generating enough revenue as a result of a high number of people who could pay municipal services but are not working. 

Therefore, they now plan to turn the tide around – working closely in partnership with the country’s institution of academic learning to assist them in managing the litter in the area. 

The municipality’s Levy Mokoena said that the whole aim of the partnership is “to support existing recyclers by making them realise the potential of a clean, healthy environment and job creation”.

He said Unisa’s research systems will be used to deal with litter in the area while making people get economically involved. 



Unisa said one of the problems with the waste economy is that it was still informal and this has seen a lot of people interested in the field “bailing out” as a result of the little money they were receiving. 

Therefore, said Unisa’s Fanie Machete, the government needs to get involved in the whole process of buying materials from recyclers like it happens in Europe and the USA and more systems of making this sector a “potential financial growth” put in place. 

(edited by MLM) 

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