On Thursday 25th May 2017, ERP held workshops at Kekana Gardens with the local business entities together with the informal waste collectors in the area. The purpose of the workshop was to give all parties an understanding of how ERP works and to gain buy in from the community on the different interventions we would want to introduce in the area. In attendance were over 50 participants including officials from SANCO, the City of Tshwane and SMMEs spread over a number of economic development spheres from within Kekana Gardens.
We gave the participants an insight into ERP and how the P.E.A.C.E. model works. There was great interest in our activities, from the hubs to agriculture and waste management. We went through the business evaluation questionnaire together with the recycling one. Present were also two ladies from the City Of Tshwane, and one of them was interested in the waste management initiative. We gave all participants their respective questionnaires and asked SANCO to ensure they are all filled in by Wednesday, 31st May. By the time we left, they were already helping some waste collectors fill in the questionnaires since most of them have low literacy levels. However, most business owners showed higher levels of literacy and some could be seen already filling in the questionnaires by themselves.
After the workshop, we went through to one of the waste collectors’ houses as she had called us to take a look at the material she was collecting, being not sure if she could be able to sell this. She had some PET and crushed glass, though not much. To her, the idea of a buyback centre made sense as she realised that with her low volumes, she would not be able to penetrate into the recycling market if she does not join hands with others. We were also taken through to view the proposed site for a recycling centre, and we look forward to pursuing our discussions with this community so as to bring about an integrated approach to poverty alleviation.