A Food for Waste project launched by the municipality and several of its partners, will fight poverty and help to keep the environment clean.
Bitou Municipality, in partnership with the national Department of Public Works and the Independent Development Trust (IDT), has joined hands to fight poverty through a Food for Waste programme.
The project was launched in the municipality on 1 April in Kwanokuthula Community Hall. The overarching Food for Waste was started in 2007 by the Department of Public Works as part of its Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).
It is based on the idea of hiring local people to collect and deliver household waste to a common spot, where it is collected by the local municipality in exchange for food parcels. It is then taken for recycling or disposal.
The programme has already been implemented in Fetakgomo in Limpopo and Msunduzi in KwaZulu-Natal.
Its benefits are two-fold: it keeps the environment clean, while at the same time fighting poverty. In exchange for collecting waste and cleaning up their communities, people get food parcels monthly.
Each part of Bitou has beneficiaries who focus on the specific area assigned to them. They are also given uniforms and working tools. They do door-to-door collection of waste from households, pick up litter in the streets, sweep the streets and generally keep the place clean.
In all, 100 people have been employed on the project; workers are employed for three years working three days a week – two days for household waste cleaning and one day in the open field. The department offers training courses to improve their skills.
At the launch of the War on Poverty campaign in 2010, which was attended by Deputy President Kgalema Motlante, he stated that among other things, Bitou Municipality should do all in its power to implement EPWP projects and other mechanisms to eradicate poverty, to deal with the problems of unemployment and poverty that characterised the region.
Among those who attended this month’s launch were Executive Mayor Lulama Mvimbi; Deputy Executive Mayor Monica Seyisi; the head of department for community services, Monde Stratu; Madoda Mfene, from the Department of Public Works; and Mpumie Gumede, from the IDT
Mvimbi thanked the national department, saying: “For some reason they chose Bitou to be part of 30 municipalities that were chosen for the programme.”
He called on local people to support the programme. As long as the government kept bringing projects to Bitou, the municipality would ensure they got to the people.Last published 30 March 2016