Growing a recycling mentality in Zandspruit


After 12 months of intensive cleaning and campaigning, Pikitup, along with a [email protected] beneficiary, Tedcor, celebrated how far residents of Zandspruit informal settlement have come.

Walking through the settlement, there are fewer waste dumps and more community gardens. One such area, across the community hall in Eureka Street, used to be a dumping site. It was cleaned at a cost of R80 000 by Pikitup and turned into a community garden.

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This came as a direct result of the clean-up initiative started in July last year as a [email protected] programme. Tedcor, a waste management company with a focus on informal settlements, was appointed to support the agent who in turn trained and aided three community cooperatives chosen by Pikitup.

Verona Ismail, managing director of Tedcor, said it trained cooperatives with business skills and methods in recycling and waste management, even prompting a small business that trades in recyclables.

Managing director of Pikitup, Lungile Dhlamini, takes a walk through Zandspruit.

A cooperative is a group of people from a community who form a company. There are a couple of directors running the company, but they also share labour and profits with all the employees.

With the [email protected] programme now restructured, Tedcor’s future in Zandspruit is based on a month-to-moth extension of their contract. But Pikitup managing director, Lungile Dhlamini said the initiative will continue.

The [email protected] structure has changed, allowing cooperatives to be contracted directly by the City, ultimately removing the middleman. Dhlamini said projects will be managed on a ward level.

Nico de Jager, MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Development, mixes concrete for the clean-up project board.

MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Development Services, Nico de Jager said the project is part of Pikitup’s Community Upliftment Programme, which is essentially replacing the [email protected] structure.

“Zandspruit has approximately 24 900 housing units and the community is faced with a number of socio-economic challenges, one of which is extensive illegal dumping.”

The waste awareness campaign, he said, aims to encourage residents and informal traders to actively participate in recycling, and by doing so, reduce the tonnes of waste that goes to landfill sites.

“Today we are dealing with Pikitup. Tomorrow, Johannesburg Water and City Power will be here. We need to find a lasting solution to grey water running down the streets and communal taps dripping water.”

This area used to be a dumping site. It was cleaned at a cost of R80 00 by Pikitup and turned into a community garden.


Verona Ismail, the managing director of Tedcor, which business ran the clean-up initiative for the past 12 months.

The MMC said the community also needs to take ownership of their surroundings and help look after it. The goal of this and other Pikitup initiatives is to have fewer clean-ups costing R80 000 and more community input into recycling and blowing the whistle on illegal dumping.

Victor Mafinya, Ward 114 councillor and Nico de Jager, MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Development, unveil the clean-up initiative board in Zandspruit.


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Chantelle Fourie
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