By Mashamba Media
The EMDT Recycling Centre officially opened its doors on 02 October 2023 providing a momentous occasion for the Alexandra Township community. The centre aims to alleviate stress for waste pickers by offering a convenient and secure platform to trade recyclable materials, creating job opportunities and fostering economic empowerment within the community.
The launch opening event was held on 29 September 2023 , with Mr Fana Mkwanazi from Lesedi Consortium Company (“Lesedi Company”) serving as the Programme Director for the day.
The proceedings began with an inspiring opening speech by Mr James Maboa, the EMDT Recycling Centre Director.
He highlighted the centre’s mission to provide waste entrepreneurs in Alexandra Township with an accessible platform to trade their valuable resources.
During his speech, Maboa acknowledged the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and emphasized the importance of the EMDT Recycling Centre in addressing the concerns of waste pickers.
He stated, “With the aim of providing waste entrepreneurs a much-needed accessible platform to trade their valuable resources, the center offers a convenient and secure space for community members to exchange recyclable materials.”
Maboa further elaborated that: The EMDT Recycling Centre prides itself on its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. Equipped with cutting-edge technology and a dedicated staff, the center provides a seamless experience for waste traders.
A multitude of features, including a precise weighing scale, the separation of traded elements, and a strong emphasis on security and staff safety, ensure a smooth and secure trading process.
The event continued with a speech by Ms Likhapha Mbatha, the EMDT Recycling Centre Director, who expressed her joy and gratitude to be witnessing the realisation of the vision set forth by the Eyesizwe Mining Development Trust (EMDT) trustees.
“I stand on behalf of other Eyesizwe Mining Development Trust Trustees as a witness to this recycling centre. I am filled with joy to share with my fellow trustees, that I am honoured to be representing. Our vision has finally manifested. It’s now our time to take part in collecting recyclable materials.”
She recognised the contribution of Lesedi Company which assisted in making the project come to life. Ms Mbatha further extended her appreciation to the community of Alexandra for their interest and participation in the programme.
Mr Siya Sigcau, a business representative, highlighted the importance of the EMDT Recycling Centre in providing waste entrepreneurs with an accessible place to trade their waste. He emphasized that while accumulating waste is easy, finding an accessible trading place can be challenging.
Sigcau also mentioned the benefits of the e-wallet system for traders, enabling them to receive payments directly to their phones and collect the funds at various shops including designated ATMs.
Mkwanazi outlined the future plans for the centre, including staff training by Mr Graetz to ensure competence in all areas of the factory and the centre as a whole.
This training will contribute to the overall success of the EMDT Recycling Centre in achieving its objectives.
The highlight of the event was the ribbon-cutting ceremony performed by Ms Mbatha, symbolising the official opening of the EMDT Recycling Centre.
In her speech, she expressed gratitude to everyone who played a significant role in making the initiative a reality, including the founder of the centre, Eyesizwe Mining Development Trust that provided funding for the centre.
Mbatha encouraged the community to value this centre as a source of life improvement.
A factory tour, conducted by the centre manager, Mr Stephen Graetz, showcased the centre’s state-of-the-art machines and explained the recycling process. The tour emphasised the importance of separating the elements of recyclable materials, ensuring tight security through surveillance cameras, and prioritising staff safety with enclosed fencing.
The EMDT Recycling Centre also holds appropriate licenses for operations and storage, further ensuring the protection of staff and management. Additionally, EMDT Recycling Centre actively promotes environmental education and community engagement, empowering residents to embrace a sustainable mindset for a brighter and greener future.
The ceremony concluded with a vote of thanks by Ms Mbatha, where she delivered her closing remarks. Expressing her enjoyment of the company of the Alexandra community.
She highlighted the significance of this milestone, saying, “From now on, I will be a witness.” As the event came to a close, attendees were thanked for their presence, and the grand opening of the EMDT Recycling Centre was officially declared.
The launch event saw an impressive turnout, with guests like the Alexandra Ambassadors (Miss Alexandra ’22, Mr Alexandra Prince ’22 & Face Of Devotion Gauteng ’23 King), media houses, school representatives, learners, local businesses, waste traders, and members of the community.
Their enthusiasm and participation illustrated the collective commitment to creating a cleaner and greener Alexandra.
About the EMDT Recycling Centre:
The EMDT Recycling Centre is an innovative initiative focused on transforming Alexandra Township into a cleaner and greener community. By offering a convenient trading platform for various recyclable materials, the center aims to address waste management, foster economic empowerment, and generate job opportunities. Through environmental education and community engagement, the centre aims to empower residents to embrace sustainability, paving the way for a brighter future.
The EMDT Recycling Centre, located at 24 Dublin Road, Bramley View, Johannesburg, is now open to the public from Monday to Friday, operating between 08:00 am and 16:00 pm.