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Joburg entrepreneur exhibit new waste recycling idea


One of the Johannesburg companies that stood out at Empowertec Africa, a small business opportunities symposium that formed part of the South African Industry and Technology Fair (INDUCTEC) held at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand last week was Abomakgereza.

The company, the brainchild of social entrepreneur Sifiso Ngobese, recently partnered with the City of Johannesburg’s waste management entity, Pikitup, to help take waste management in the city to a higher level.

The company has developed a set of unique branded waste trolleys that promote recycling, generate decent advertising revenue for informal waste collectors and help keep the city clean.
Ngobese said the concept had taken off in a big way.

“We are currently piloting three trolleys in Johannesburg Central and have received tremendous positive feedback. Our trolleys, to be used by informal waste collectors to transport recyclables, have several safety features and are designed in accordance with Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department and South African Police Service’s safety specifications, provide a sense of dignity and belonging to collectors and create opportunities,” said Ngobese.

He said the collectors received 10% of the advertising revenue generated by the trolleys and the money they earned from selling recyclable products.

“We’ll soon roll out 200 trolleys to informal collectors to use in and around the city,” he said.

Another entrepreneur who was thrilled to exhibit at the City of Johannesburg’s pavilion was Zanele Legabe, owner of Nokhuphola, a family business specialising in beaded African jewellery and artwork.

“This support has provided a great marketing opportunity and exposure for our products,” said Legabe.

Explaining the Department of Small Business Development’s decision to support Empowertec Africa, Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe said the show provided a perfect platform for assisting entrepreneurs and small businesses to grow.

“The National Development Plan envisages that by 2030 about 90% of new employment will be generated by SMMEs. Empowertec Africa is a vital stepping stone in achieving that goal,” said Thabethe.

Speaking about the next step in the City’s commitment to “promoting exports of value-added services by SMMEs,” Reginald Pholo, the City’s Director of Trade and Investment Promotion, said several interested SMMEs and their products would be exposed to Massmart and other leading retail companies and buyers.

He said the City would again capacitate SMMEs by showcasing them at the Southern African International Trade Exhibition next month.

“It’s called Africa’s largest trade show. It attracts more than 15 000 buyers, wholesalers and traders, ultimately providing a powerful springboard for SMMEs,” added Pholo.