The Maletswai area near Aliwal North in the Eastern Cape is a poor region with few job prospects. Seventeen unemployed residents of Maletswai decided that recycling waste was their best option – and the Maletswai Waste and Recycling Co-operative was born.
The company had the following challenge:
With no business skills and no capital, their prospects might have seemed as bleak as ever. But that was before they asked Seda for help.
Solution by Seda
We developed a business plan for the co-op, referred them to funding institutions – and financial assistance started pouring in: R500 000 from the Department of Social Development, more than R1,7 million from the National Development Agency, and R1,8 million from Buyisa e Bag. A final injection of R4.8 million has been approved by the Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs (DEDEA). These funds were used to secure land and equipment for the recycling operation, with the support of both the Local and District Municipalities. Buyisa e Bag also wishes to create a Buy Back Centre at Maletswai, along with four smaller centres in surrounding townships.
With the infrastructure largely in place, Seda turned its attention to providing business skills, training the Maletswai Co-op members in Financial Management, Co-Operative Governance, Co-Operative Principles, Conflict Management, and Health and Safety. As a result of these interventions, all 17 co-op members are employed. The project is fully operational and is separating out metal cans, cardboard, plastic, paper and glass for sale to customers. When the Buy Back Centres become operational, another eight jobs will be created.