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WASTE MANAGEMENT who are in a wide array of different industries. However, the greatest investment the industry can make is in educating the South African people that waste is a resource and there can be no environmental or economic value generated by dumping it at a landfill site. As a country, we cannot afford to throw away a financial opportunity, quite literally, in the bin. Over the years, the South African economic landscape has been dominated by headlines related to unemployment statistics, a national skills shortage and financial opportunities for the youth. These issues have been recognised as crises running the risk of plaguing our country to the brink of collapse; we are an economy on the precipice of imploding due to our inability to merge corporate capitalism, unionised socialism and the missing link – the skilled worker. All this whilst struggling to provide a platform for our entrepreneurs who only seek to be pioneers in their own rights. The balance of these critical components to our economic landscape has become increasingly important and relevant with the depressing unemployment statistics. South Africa has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the world and the youth are worst affected with more than 50% i of them unemployed. Moreover, 66% of the country’s population is comprised of people under the age of 35 ii . The statistics alone highlight the uncomfortable reality that, as a country, we have neglected our youth on the economic activity issue. There is a developing crisis in the country. But individuals, companies and government institutions are intent on finding a solution. Buhle Waste has formalised a bursary and internship programme focusing on the youth. We believe that through innovative education and relevant experience we can upskill our country’s youth and significantly reduce our unemployment figures. Our bursaries range for students wanting to begin their formal

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Municipal Focus

education at primary level to furthering their education at tertiary level. Our internship programme looks to provide individuals with the necessary experience and enhanced skills needed to become an asset to the country’s economy. Many of the students we support work for us during their vacations, allowing the bursary and internship programmes to work hand-in-hand. In total, we have supported about 15 students and interns in the last two years. This number is set to increase drastically in the coming years. Additionally, Buhle Waste has embarked on an Enterprise Development initiative that would realise the opportunities for entrepreneurs to engage the waste management value chain whilst enjoying the benefit of an established company’s support. Through this initiative we have supported over 22 emerging businesses assisting them to generate more than R100m in economic value. This is only the beginning. We seek to utilise our technologies and vision of a zerowaste-to-landfill South Africa to further garner economic activity and support throughout the waste industry from the single waste picker

to the truck driver working towards owning their vehicle and fleet. As a company, we have heeded Government’s call, in the National Waste Management Strategy, to create economic activity through waste management. It is of paramount importance that we actively ensure the future leaders of our country are skilled and experienced to effectively guide us to positive returns. It is equally important to support the pioneering entrepreneur who will further contribute to job creation and economic value. Only through a direct and concerted effort, in a collaboration amongst the youth, government, corporate and the country’s citizens, can we nurture the needs of our people and realise a solution to the crises. Contact Details Thabang Sekete Business Development Manager Tel: 011 595 3000 Email: info@buhlewaste.co.za Website: www.buhlewaste.co.za i Stats SA – www.statssa.gov.za ii UNFPA - southafrica.unfpa.org/ topics/young-people-1

Profile for kwedamedia

Municipal Focus Volume 52  

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