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Waste pickers in Meadowlands discussed the challenges they face

'We are not crazy,we are just doing our job'

African Reclaimers Organisation members of Meadowlands came together on September the 4th to discuss the challenges they face as waste pickers and how they can overcome them.

Mandla Nkonde who is also a member of the waste pickers said, people shouldn’t look at them as if they are mentally unstable because this is part of their work for the Arrow company, they take the waste and sell it so that they can support their children.

He continued to say that the workers are helping themselves because they have no stable employment nor income.


Mdumiseni Mhlongo.

He mentioned that on September 18 the will be a meeting at the Salvation Army next to the Lady church for waste pickers and he would like all the waste pickers from different areas to be there so that they can discuss all that needs to be discussed.

Nkonde went on to say that as hustlers they would like to plead with household owners to not take recyclable waste to pikitup trucks instead to put them aside for them to collect because this is their way of putting food on the table for their families.


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As waste pickers their main challenge is a place to work, they mentioned that they spoke to the counsellor of ward 40 to help them get a place but he said that they should talk to city park and find out if they can’t get a location.

In the households which they are renting the owners often complain that their recyclable waste brings rodents and could cause sickness and injuries to their young children as they work with glasses.


Noma Manzini.

They would also like to have security for their waste so that they don’t get stolen.

“The same people that laugh when they see us going through waste or look at us as if we are not well in the head, will change their judgement when we are no longer in our working rags but decent clothes,” concluded Nkonde.




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