August is the month for celebrating women and PETCO raises the flag for the phenomenal contribution women make to the South African recycling sector, demonstrating leadership, business acumen and strategic thinking. Two extraordinary women are amongst other entrepreneurs who were honoured at the PETCO AGM recently. This was for their contribution to PET recycling in South Africa.
Nokubonga Mnyango, owner of Uthando Solutions and Trading (Pty) Ltd, started operating her business from home in the township of Ngwelezane outside Empangeni. She was recently offered premises by the Department of Environmental Affairs at the uMhlathuze Municipality. She is in the process of moving her business. She collects waste from taverns, shops, and schools and supplied 3690 t of PET to Mpact in 2016. The company also trains and provides waste bags to households and explains how recycling can benefit them. Nokubonga has employed two permanent employees. During the busy season she hires more than 59 casuals. Says Nokubonga: ‘My passion started when I attended a workshop in Durban arranged by PETCO. I realised I could live my dream of operating my own business, bought a bakkie from my earnings and linked disadvantaged recyclers in the community to the markets.
Charlotte Lamprecht, owner of Henque Waste started her recycling initiative in 2007 in Riversdale, Western Cape. Within a year, she had convinced the Municipality of Riversdale to implement a two-bag system. Her company now runs the two-bag system in Still Bay, Jongensfontein, Riversdale and Heidelberg and she has agents in Knysna, Montagu, Barrydale and Uniondale. The total volume of material recycled during 2016 was 3,287 308kg and total PET during the same period was 57,392kg or just over 57 t. Through the buyback centres they support approximately 400 entrepreneurs a month, buying material to the value of between R58,000 – R68,000. A total of 81 people are employed, 48 of them, women.