Buyisa-e-Bag, a Section 21 company, whose core business was to develop entrepreneurs and create sustainable opportunities in the recycling and waste management sectors, briefed the Committee on the setting up of multi recycling Buy-Back centres. Such centres would buy in, sort and resell various plastics, paper, cans, and glass. A total of 20 centres were planned, and the investment to date had been R10 million. The initial focus would be
Members commended the work being done, particularly the involvement of youth, and noted that Buyisa-e-Bag needed to increase its visibility. Members then asked about the generation of income, the staff salaries, its involvement with the new Waste Management legislation, the number of jobs created, tax concessions, and the relationship with private sector recycling companies. The eventual use of the recycled material, transport for collection of material, the name of the company, whether it was appropriately structured, and suggestions to involve South African Local Government Association were also addressed.
Buyisa-e-Bag Multi-Recycling Buy Back Centre briefing
Mr Benny Makgoga, CEO, Buyisa-e-Bag said that Buyisa-e-Bag was a Section 21 company, whose core business was to develop entrepreneurs and create sustainable opportunities in the recycling and waste management sectors. Buyisa had set up multi recycling Buy-Back centres to achieve that task, with the aim of buying in, sorting and reselling various plastics, paper, cans, and glass. A total of 20 centres were planned, and the investment to date had been R10 million. The existing centres were currently receiving the required functional resources, and it was critical that sufficient sources of recycling materials were created. The initial focus would be
Gauteng and , but would be rolled out to all provinces. It had already created relationships with provincial governments and local municipalities. Mpumalanga
The key performance areas, economic and social benefits of recycling were explained. The company tried to ensure sustainable development and best business practice to ensure that centres would meet the legal and administrative regulations, including health and safety, environmental and occupational health standards. The sources of the material were outlined. It was explained that the aim was to empower local communities by providing entrepreneurs with the functional resources they needed to run the business, such as designing and construction steel structures and the necessary operating material.
Mr Makgoga then tabled the progress and the new Multi Recycling Buy-Back centres, and noted that locations and resources required for the planned new centres. The strategic objectives, key performance issues and priorities were outlined in detail (see attached presentation), and the functional resources, designs of the basic structures and building dimensions were outlined.
Mr Makgoga noted that the estimated budget for the set-up of each centre, including the machinery and structure, training, protective clothing, branding, security and insurance and launch publicity, was R1.84 million. Most sites were around 5 000 square metres in size. He noted that Buyisa-e-Bag would provide monitoring and control, and would require monthly and annual reports on financial and operational performance. It envisaged providing three-year support. Finally he mentioned that Buyisa-e-Bag was very proud to be working with the youth groups in the townships, as that initiative provided sustainable jobs, and they were known as “Ambassadors of Environment”.
Ms C Zikalala (IFP) commended Mr Makgoga and his delegation on the work they were doing. She mentioned that she was one of the people who had conducted awareness through the press about the role of Buyisa. People in the townships had no knowledge of plastic recycling, and it was not visible in the townships around
. She commended the institution on its youth development work because young people were the leaders of tomorrow. The Buy Back centres should be visible, rather than heard about only in Committee meetings. Gauteng
Mr Makgoga said that he would convey Ms Zikalala’s concerns to the Board. He said that the Buyisa would increase its visibility through its awareness campaigns such as drama and school education programmes.
Mr G Morgan (DA) asked Mr Makgoga how his organisation generated income. He asked about the amounts paid for staff salaries, and also whether Buyisa spent a lot of money on capital projects. He wanted to know what tools were used to measure Buyisa-e-Bag’s success, and the benefits derived from that success. Mr Morgan also enquired about Buyisa-e-Bag’s contribution to the Waste Bill.
Mr Makgoga replied that Buyisa received its funds from the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. Since 2007/8 R1.5 million had been spent on salaries for a staff component comprising less than ten people, and he pointed out that this amount, compared to the total budget of R20 million, was a very small amount. Buyisa forwarded submissions on the Waste Bill through the Department and the
. He said that some capital spending was done in setting up twelve Buy Back Centres, and more centres were on the pipeline. Institute of Waste Management
Mr I Cachalia (ANC) enquired about the number of jobs that had been created by Buyisa. He wanted to know whether the funding was ring fenced or whether Buyisa depended on special tax concessions. He also asked what kind of relationship Buyisa had with private sector recycling companies. Finally he asked about the percentage of plastic that had been recycled already.
Mr Makgoga replied that the South African Revenue Services collected the levy and transferred the money to the Treasury. He said that 15 % of plastic material had been recycled. He said that he would provide the exact figures of the jobs created during his next parliamentary visit.
Ms Dee Fischer, Director: Waste Management, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism said that five billion plastic bags were used in
during 2003/4. Consumers had a choice to re-use plastic bags at any retailer of their choice. Buyisa Buy-Back Centres recycled more than one ton at any given time. South Africa
Mrs J Chalmers (ANC) wanted to know what happened to the recycled bags. She also questioned the norm in the pricing structure of the recycled material. She cited an example of
Canberra in , where the municipality would sell the recycled material to the private sector. She also asked how did Buyisa collect the bags around the townships. Australia
Mr Makgoga replied that the collected material was compressed using the Baling Machines. The material was sold to private sector companies who recycled the material into other items such as refuse bags. Buyisa would look at means of transport that could be used to collect material from the townships, schools, taxi ranks and other public spaces. He said that large and unscrupulous operators had been paying the collectors amounts that did not incentivise recycling.
Mr A Mokoena (ANC) commended Buyisa for involving young people in the work it was doing. He voiced his concern with the name “Buyisa-e-Bag” and he suggested the name should change to Buyisa-i-Bag. He said that the name sounded the like mine workers’ patois known as Fanagalo.
Mr Makgoga said that he would convey the suggestion of the name change to the Board.
Mr Mokoena enquired about the nature of the relationship with Indalo Yethu. If there was no relationship, he suggested that the two organisations collaborate on certain issues. He then questioned the fact that Buyisa was a Section 21 Company set up by the Government. He mentioned that the Government could not have proper control over a Section 21 Company. He enquired about the relationship with the private sector companies that were involved in plastic recycling.
Mr Makgoga said that he agreed with Mr Mokoena’s concerns regarding the way Buyisa was structured as a Section 21 Company. He felt that Buyisa and its Board should be accountable to the Government. He explained that Indalo Yethu and Buyisa had started working together; Indalo Yethu would be driving the awareness campaign and Buyisa would do the implementation.
The Chairperson asked about the amount of plastic that had been already collected, and what was done with the funds that were already collected.
Mr Enoch Dlamini, Senior Manager: Projects, Buyisa-e-Bag, replied that a million tons worth of plastic material was produced by companies like Sasol. Buyisa recycled 15% of the locally produced plastic material. There was a huge demand for recycled material in the agriculture sector to make irrigation pipes and other items.
Ms Zikalala enquired about the role of women and elderly in recycling because Mr Makgoga had mentioned only the youth.
Mr Makgoga replied that women and the elderly were part of the recycling process. The reason he mentioned the youth specifically was that young people had always initiated the rehabilitation of polluted streams, and sorting of waste into different streams.
Ms Fischer informed the Committee that Buyisa had been used as pilot project by the tyre industry, which would be using 100% of the tyre levy. Buyisa would also be learning from the tyre industry initiative. International experience had shown that different industries were responsible for recycling their own material.
Mr Mokoena suggested that Buyisa should set up a meeting with the South African Local Government Association to speed up the process of setting up the Buy-Back centres across the country. Buyisa could also utilise the resources of those municipalities.
The Chairperson said that consideration and the adoption of outstanding minutes and reports would be done at another meeting.
The meeting was adjourned.
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