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Recycling project near Kruger National Park keeps environment clean, animals safe

Sylvia Mashaba is one of the volunteers at the Swikoxeni waste recycling project near the Kruger National Park. Picture: Mashudu Sadike

Sylvia Mashaba is one of the volunteers at the Swikoxeni waste recycling project near the Kruger National Park. Picture: Mashudu Sadike

Published Jun 28, 2022

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Pretoria - Sylvia Mashaba, 26, from Swikoxeni village in Lilydale, Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga wakes up at 5am every morning to prepare herself to go to her recycling job at the Swikoxeni waste recycling project a stone’s throw away from the Kruger National Park (KNP).

The project, which is between Lillydale and Justicia villages is meant to keep areas in and around the nearly two million hectares animal park clean by recycling in the form of bottles, tins and plastic so that the waste does not access the rivers or streams that flow into the world renowned park where the animals could drink poisoned water.

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Speaking to Pretoria News at the project site near Skukuza, Mashaba said ever since she started working for the project two months ago she is able to put food on the table for her two children while preserving lives of a range of animals in the KNP.

The world renowned park is arguably South Africa’s biggest tourist attraction and boasts scores of different wildlife including the big five, lion, rhino, buffalo, elephant and the leopard.

Bethuel Mashele is the Swikoxeni waste recycling project director. Picture: Mashudu Sadike

Mashaba said: “This recycling project is very important for the economy around here because it has employed a lot of us and we are able to feed our families while we are keeping Lillydale and Justicia villages clean.”

Project director, Bethuel Mashele said the project was developed in 2016 and has currently employed 20 people who get stipends at the end of the month.

“This project is to keep the environment clean while we get to employ our people. We transport about 60 tons worth of bottles to Gauteng each month and that brings us nearly R50 000 which helps the economy of this community.

“We are trying to increase the lifespan of the population of the animals and ourselves. These days there are so many things that affect the environment like global warming.

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“Waste gets access to streams and animals drink that poison and it may lead to their death because when water gets affected around the community it definitely affects the animals,” Mashele said.

Pretoria News

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