Barry Streek South Africa holds the world record for the recycling of tin cans, Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Mohammed Valli Moosa has disclosed. The “Collect-a-Can” programme recycled as much as 63% of the cans used in the country and provides informal employment for an estimated 30 000 people. “The sterling work being done is a source of pride to our country. The Collect-a-Can project obviates the need for the government regulation of the use of cans,” Valli Moosa said in his policy speech to the National Assembly.
However, the same could not be said for many other projects and this year the government will be paying more attention to products like tyres, glass bottles, plastic technically, polyethylene terephthalate containers, building rubble and medical waste. Valli Moosa said a clean environment is a fundamental human right, and announced that a special national waste summit wil be held this year to intensify the war on waste. “Mountains of waste continue to mushroom everywhere. We must act before it is too late,” Valli Moosa said. During the current financial year, the government will spend R31,5-million to fund 20 poverty-relief projects, employing 1 892 people, which are aimed at cleaning up the country. Valli Moosa said he was pleased that the creation of a clean environment is a priority for many of the country’s local authorities. “The bold beginnings by the Johannesburg waste utility company Pikitup with its 1 800-strong workforce is a breath of fresh air. I am now hopeful that Johannesburg will be one of the cleanest cities in the world.” Valli Moosa added that a further 1 350 people were being employed in poverty-relief projects aimed at the rehabilitation of the South African coast.