Plans including a community recycling programme on the cards for Buffelsdraai waste pickers following mass shooting

EThekwini Municipality officials led by may Mxolisi Kaunda

EThekwini Municipality officials led by may Mxolisi Kaunda held a community meeting in Buffelsdraai on Saturday to address community issues following a shooting incident between security and waste pickers at the landfill site in July that left 17 injured and one dead. Picture: Supplied.

Published Aug 27, 2023

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Durban - Over a month after 18 waste pickers were shot, killing one, at the Buffelsdraai landfill site north of Durban, eThekwini Municipality mayor Mxolisi Kaunda has unveiled bold plans to resolve issues during a community meeting.

This comes after Kaunda closed the landfill site to the public following the incident.

“The Mercury” reported last month that the site was invaded and set alight by a group of waste pickers, leading to a confrontation between security personnel and the invaders.

Security at the Buffelsdraai Landfill Site north of Durban opened fire at a group of waste pickers on Wednesday leaving one dead and 17 injured. Picture: Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa)

The City said on Saturday that the mayor has kept his promise of returning to Buffelsdraai to give feedback on the issues raised by the community following the closure of the landfill site.

During the community meeting on Saturday, Kaunda said he was pleased to report that the City has commenced with the process of profiling waste pickers in the area.

“This process will culminate in the establishment of a community recycling programme in the next six months,” said the municipality.

The municipality said the City is currently engaging various private sector companies that will partner with it to implement the programme.

According to the municipality, this initiative will also assist in keeping the community clean and address the challenge of illegal dumping sites.

Kaunda said about 40 young people will be recruited for a period of three months to clean the area and clear illegal dumping sites.

“We have also commenced with the programme of establishing a waste segregation site in the vicinity of the landfill site,” he said.

EThekwini Municipality officials led by may Mxolisi Kaunda held a community meeting in Buffelsdraai on Saturday. Picture: Supplied.

The mayor said the City has also profiled young people who dropped out of tertiary institutions and they will be assisted to secure financial aid to further their studies.

“We also want to commend the Department of Social Development for coming on board to assist indigent families through providing food vouchers,” added Kaunda.

The municipality said those who are no longer interested in waste picking have been assisted to form agricultural co-operatives.

Another issue raised by the community was the challenge of homelessness.

“As part of the City’s intervention, 22 homeless people are currently undergoing rehabilitation programmes in various health institutions and they will be channelled through various skills development programmes that are run by the municipality.

“Those who have qualifications will be enrolled in the municipality’s work readiness programme and receive monthly stipends.”

The municipality added that the Department of Home Affairs has also partnered with the City to assist members of the community without ID documents and birth certificates.

EThekwini Municipality officials led by may Mxolisi Kaunda held a community meeting in Buffelsdraai on Saturday to address community issues following a shooting incident between security and waste pickers at the landfill site in July that left 17 injured and one dead. Picture: Supplied.