2 March Say No to plastic shopper bags March 2, 2018 By Tabisa Mntengwana Latest News 0 Every day we are handed countless plastic shopping bags when we go to retail stores. Most are used for a short period of time but a significant number ends up polluting the environment. Negative Impacts · The plastic pieces can lead to avian and marine life choking · Plastic bags can increase the risk of flooding · Even when disposed of properly, plastic bags are so lightweight and aerodynamic they are easily carried by the wind. · They can escape from refuse bins, recycle bins, refuse trucks and landfills ending up littering the landscape. · Blowing down the street, flapping from trees, clogging storm drains and costing municipalities millions of rand in clean-up costs. What can we do? While plastic pollution continues to be a huge problem globally, there are some steps being taken to reduce the use of disposable bags. Many individuals and businesses have begun switching to reusable bags in an effort to save money and protect the environment. Related Gillwell Taxi Retail Park The city has already seen the arrival of other large shopping malls, so what makes this development different? It brings along many benefits and great value. Well, this particular shopping mall brings along many benefits and great value. For one, Gillwell Taxi Retail Park, affectionately known as Gillwell Mall epitomises the merging of social, convenience and exceptional shopping experience. The facilities has ensured easy access through organised, professional transportation system to and fro the mall. This project incorporates 26 routes to various areas with and around East London. A vast selection of shopping experience. Furthermore, the informal traders will add to the ambience of this esteemed infrastructure. Services will range from your basic fruits and vegetables to traditional unique cuisine. With over 100 stores on its premises Gillwell Mall promises to offer the consumer a vast selection of shopping experiences. Fashion selection includes the likes of Identity, Grand Shoes, Markham, Foschini, Sportscene, Mr Price, John Craig and Truworths to name a few. The retail mix extends to both national and regional stores. Entertainment is the central element of any shopping mall, so be rest assured that there will be bountiful entertainment awaiting the shopper. Notable strides attested to Gillwell Mall partners. Gillwell Taxi Retail Park is developed by Isibonelo Property Services and Eris Property Group on behalf of Dipula Income Fund. Izak Petersen, CEO of Dipula, says: “The property meets Dipula’s strategy of acquiring quality retail assets in targeted areas.” This has truly been a community development with contractors and external stakeholders all crucially instrumental and significant in the creation of Gillwell Mall. “The implementation and notable strides in the project can be attested to the enthusiasm and cooperation of the fruitful involvement of Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM), Taxi Association and Informal traders association. We are fortunate to have had them on board as partners” says Mr Shadrack Mthethwa, CEO of Isibonelo Property Services. Gillwell Mall truly epitomises the merging and collaboration of efforts. For more information follow us on: www.gillwellmall.com; Facebook: Gillwell Taxi Retail Park; Twitter: @GillwellMall Metro rehabilitates Roundhill Major upgrades to rehabilitate the site are almost done and they will set the benchmark for waste management in the Metro as the landfill will now be equipped to handle and manage waste efficiently and effectively. The site has been operating while it had a high percentage of non-compliance as a result incidents of smoke and the releasing toxic gases in the air due to uncovered waste frequently happened at the site. Speaking at the landfill site Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said, “The implementation and rehabilitation plan of the landfill site marks the beginning of a new journey towards integrated waste management for the City.” Mtsi said waste management is a global issue and that the Metro has set a mandate to deal with waste effectively so that the health and safety of the citizens is not compromised. “Recycling waste and providing environmental protection is our long term vision,” said Mtsi. The Metro is currently drafting a waste management strategy to deal with waste effectively in the City. In dealing with the challenges at Roundhill site, the Metro awarded an emergency tender in August 2014 to Envitech Solutions. The Gauteng based company which has expertise to carry out studies from preliminary investigations through to detailed design and implementation of waste management and disposal systems and Interwaste Environmental Solutions to try and turn the landfill site around. Speaking about the development of the landfill site Technical Engineer for Envitech Solutions Abinash Dookhi said, “The biggest challenge we faced was managing the harmful gas leachate which causes significant threat to ground and surface water.” He also said that when they arrived at the Roundhill landfill site, the site was in a very bad condition and it was not compliant according to the national landfill regulations. “The waste not being covered meant that harmful gases where being released and contaminating the air and the water in the area. Residents were living on the land fill site illegally as well as endangering their own health,” said Dookhi. Dookhi also added a lot of work needed to be done to turn the landfill around but said he was positive that with the assistance of the Metro it could be done. “We had various meetings with the Metro and drafted a detailed plan on how Envitech and Interwaste Solutions were going to turn the landfill site into an engineered landfill site and make it 100 percent compliant,” said Dookhi. It has taken three years to turn Roundhill Landfill site from 30 percent compliant to now 80 percent complaint. This has also opened up employment opportunities for a group of 50 residents who were living at the landfill site earning between R250 and R500 per week. The group were organized into small groups and were equipped with business opportunities of collecting cupboards, plastic bottles, used cans and many more disposals that are being dumped by trucks at the site. The launch was recently launched last week in Berlin. BCMM emerging farmers get a boost The purpose of the show was to encourage the Buffalo City residents to invest in farming as well as show the importance of agriculture and to give farmers a platform to showcase and sell their products. Speaking at the event, Portfolio Head Economic Development and Agencies Mawethu Marata said, “As Buffalo City leaders we are very proud of all the people who participated in the competition because agriculture is very important in our lives.” “We also encourage young people to get involved in farming as it fights poverty,” said Marata. The participants displayed their products at the event and there were prizes to be won to encourage people to see farming as a business opportunity and those that are in farming to continue farming. The first prize went to a 72-year-old Malayi Blakfesi from Nxarhuni who won R30 000 in her category. Blakfesi in her stall showcased organic vegetables and vegetable products as well as chickens. Ward 44 came in the second place and received R20 000 and in the third place with R10 000 was Ward 32. “I am very happy that I won this prize, this means a lot to me. I cannot wait to get home and tell my grandchildren about this because they are the ones that help me with my vegetable garden. I’m all grown up now so I’m transferring my skills to them,” said Blakfesi. Zolelwa Zenzile from Macleantown who also participated in the competition said, “I started my backyard garden in 2000. I make bags, shoes and belts out of leather. I feel encouraged. I really enjoy what I’m doing. I am going to pull up my socks so that I can also win the competition next year.” Leader of Farmers Association in Buffalo City Mvulane Ngqameni said, “We encourage farmers to remain in work rather than retire. Let us work together, boost each other and not undermine one another.” “Farming is healthy for our bodies and farming reduces poverty. Moreover we encourage residents to create their own backyard vegetable gardens in their homes,” said Ngqameni. Other products that were exhibited at the show were livestock, art work, designer clothes, cooked food, cakes and leather craft products. BCM positioned to invest, play and grow The Metro has managed to position itself as the destination of choice to play and has identified tourism as one of the strategic economic sectors with a potential to grow and in turn assist with the growth of the regional economy and with job creation. Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said that the Metro had started to invest its resources in “cultivating lifestyle tourism through supporting a number of lifestyle events that continue to attract tourists into the city and contribute to the sustainability of our hospitality industry.” However, the City does not only invest in its entertainment and tourism events as it continuously spends millions of rands towards the education of young people. This year alone a total of 36 young people were awarded bursaries through the Metro’s bursary fund. The current beneficiaries are studying information technology, finance, agriculture, planning and development and engineering. Pakati said nine beneficiaries from last year graduated last month. “Since the inception of the bursary fund in 2008, 40 beneficiaries have graduated. Currently seven are BCM interns, and three have been employed by BCM,” Pakati said. Through its support for entertainment events, BCM has helped provide for the health and recreation of young and old in the Daily Dispatch Cycle Tour, Harley Davidson African Bike Week, Metro FM Heat Wave, Berlin November event and the Buyel’Ekhaya Pan African Music Festival. Sports fanatics also enjoyed several top-flight soccer matches between December and May as Chippa United took some of their PSL games and a cup game to Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane. Bafana Bafana hosted Angola in an international friendly at the Buffalo City Stadium and the Super- Sport Rugby Challenge went to Mdantsane. Pakati said the Metro went on an “aggressive approach” in positioning itself as an events destination of choice. He said negotiations to host Chippa in BCM next season are under way. Despite not being awarded the host city rights for the cricket T20 Premier League recently, Pakati said the city would remain focused and committed to working with Border Cricket to secure future major tournaments in the city. The Metro’s annual franchise expo, now in its fourth year, has also grown since its inception as it attracted 50 exhibitors and more than 4 300 visitors. In another effort to develop the economy, BCM prides itself on working closely with the department of economic development and environmental affairs, which has funded projects like Pro-Glove, a King William’s Town-based company that manufactures protective leather gloves and clothing; Ikusasa Green in Dimbaza industrial area, a plastic production company that makes cooler boxes; BuzweBethu, a Zwelitsha-based business that manufactures traditional outfits, Be Bright in Mdantsane, where chemical products are made, and the Magebheza Office Furniture in Fort Jackson Industrial Park where office furniture is manufactured. All these businesses were funded with R3-million each. Women breaking barriers The 52-year-old Simelane is among the most inspiring women who continue to break down gender barriers in industries previously dominated by men. The unusual combination of being a truck driver and a middle aged mother of three surprises many who come into contact with Simelane but she dared to diminish stereotypes. The Qumbu born driver had dreams of becoming a police woman but circumstances at the time prevented her from completing matric making it difficult for her to follow her dream. To provide for her young children she sought to find any form of work to put food on the table and landed a job as a Street Sweeper for the City in 1998, she was then promoted to be the team leader for Street Sweepers in 2003. In her pursuit to advance her career, she decided to get a driver’s license to be able to apply for work as a driver in 2012. The following year, in 2013, Simelane was presented with an opportunity to act in a truck driver position where she proved herself as a reliable and cautious driver and as a result was absorbed permanently as a Driver Overseer in 2015. Simelane said her work is very rewarding as she contributes toward service delivery by doing her bit to keep the City clean. “Making sure that refuge bags are collected every day in the City is not just duty for me, it is a moral responsibility.” Talking about her daily routine Simelane said “The day starts with inspecting the truck for any defaults, we also check that the team is in safety gear and that all the tools are in place for the day, then we head to our designated areas which include Quigney, Westbank and Arcadia to collect refuse.” She added that she cannot imagine being office bound because she enjoys spending hours out on the road and meeting new people. Simelane heads a team of 23 refuse collectors and says leading a group that is largely made up of men is not without its fair share of challenge “At first it was intimidating to walk into a male dominated workplace and be required to give instructions to my male counterparts but perceptions are slowly changing. Men are now becoming more accepting of women in these roles,” she said. Simelane said she receives immense encouragement from women for her work and also takes the opportunity to remind women that they too can be anything they want to be. “Young women always come up to me wanting to enquire about my job and how they could secure employment as truck drivers. In these days, women are interested in taking non-traditional jobs and I am always keen to give good advice.” Revealing her plans for the future Simelane said she intends to continue working as a driver overseer and hopes to move into a management position in future. National cleanup week campaign The workshop focused on waste as a resource and waste minimization initiatives with emphasis was on illegal dumping as it is a major issue in the area. Community members were educated on the dangers of illegal dumping as well as ways in which to dispose of waste in a safe manner. The campaign continues at the Sweetwaters Hall on Tuesday followed by cleanups in Tyutyu on Wednesday 13 August and Sweetwaters on Thursday 14 August. The Clean-up will focus of litter picking and separation of waste. During the campaign, the City will use two types of bags, one for recyclable waste and one general waste. The general waste will be collected by refuse trucks and the recyclable kept for the Recycling Day. The Recycling Day is held as a platform to increase the awareness concerning waste management and particularly to promote a cleaner environment to live, in and around urban areas. Community volunteers have been roped in along with EPWP’s, CWP’s and officials from various stakeholders. The main event will be held on Friday 15 August at the Sweetwaters Hall. On this day, volunteers will be sorting recyclable waste for the first two hours and the formal program at 10am with the Executive Mayor Xola Pakati as the Main Speaker. Comments are closed.