Sat, Sep 18, 2021

Climate, Environmental Justice & Energy

Communities abused by mining companies stand up for their rights.


by Simon Vilakazi

On 29 May 2019, community representatives from Lutsvil in Northern Cape, South Africa, were at the Cape Town High Court to listen to a case between themselves and the Australian mining company. This is the same company that has been causing problems in Xolobeni. They are causing problems in Lutsvil in Northern Cape now. In their argument, the company is claiming that the community is violating their right to dignity and good reputation if they are opposed to mine by the community. So they want the community to be interdicted and not allowed to protest against them and what they are doing. The community is represented by lawyers from Centre for Environmental Rights (CER).

Training workshop on climate change and environment in Sophia Town


By John-Paul Roberts

On Saturday 10 May a training workshop was held by Green Anglican and the Johannesburg Anglican Environmental Initiative at St Joseph’s Diocesan Centre in Sophia Town. The purpose of the workshop was to familiarise Youth Leaders and Sunday School Teachers on climate change and the decline in our environment. It was also to launch the new youth manual, and train the leaders around the environmental resources that was developed by the Environmental office of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. Lastly the worship was also a means of mobilising the leaders to go out and engage young people with regards to caring about our environment and nature preservation.

Government’s intervention vital in the waste industry


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Press release                                                                                     November 2018

Government’s intervention vital in the waste industry

Community activists are calling for government to intervene in the waste pickers industry. The community of Thulani Snake Park informal settlement in Soweto wants the government to regulate the industry by protecting waste pickers and thus allow the community to make a meaningful living from collecting waste.

“Residing in a community that is contaminated by mine waste radioactivity is not easy for the people of Thulani Snake Park, as this causes health hazards and endangers our livelihoods. People around the area are now making a living as waste pickers to survive” says community member and activist Thokozile Mntambo.

Picking up waste has allowed the community to make money from recycling, thereby ensuring that they can pay for electricity, paraffin and food.

Waste picking is not covered by any type of legislation or policy, and waste management policies in South Africa cover only the formal waste sector.

“It is hard for women waste pickers as they need to wake up early  and walk long distance pushing a trolley to get items like metal scrap and plastic bottles for recycling” says Mntambo. In the suburban areas’ women waste pickers get labelled with derogatory names such as “bomalala pipes” while security guards also chase them away from picking up waste.

“Waste pickers also do not get enough money from waste collection because the scrap yard does not pay much, especially when the scale is small,” continued Mntambo.

A 2017 report by Department of Science and Technology through the National Research Foundation’s Centre of Excellence in Food Security found that on average waste pickers made between R290 to R 770 a week from the waste they collect.

In Thulani Snake Park, some of the waste pickers are drug addicts, who use the returns from selling scrap metal to feed their addiction. This contributes to the dangers faced by women waste pickers who are exposed to intimidation by these addicts.

“The Thulani Snake Park community is calling on government to formulate policies that will ensure that they are recognisedas an informal sector,and to stop the municipality from privatising the waste picking sector,” concludes Mntambo

NOTE TO EDITORS: The Ubumbano Community Voice website and application is a platform for community activists in Southern Africa to share stories of their struggles for dignity and justice, and for journalists and others to get direct access to those stories. It is supported by the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of faith-based organisations.


Nhlanhla Kubeka

frayintermedia: Account manager

Tel: +27 11 888 0140

Cell: +27 79 847 897


Thokozile Mntambo

Thulani Snake Park community activist

Cell: +27 65 326 4565

Ashely Green-Thompson

ACT Ubumbano: Change Manager

Cell: +27 83 442 4497