Manzini Buy Back Centre: Over E100 000 Disbursed to Emaswati Monthly
One of the success stories for the Municipal Council of Manzini is that of the Manzini Buy Back Centre; a facility that was established in December 2020 as a Public Private Partnership between the Municipal Council of Manzini and private recycling company, AMZ Recycling. Only eight months old in the vibrant City of Manzini, the facility is already a strong source of livelihood for many citizens who would otherwise be going to bed on an empty stomach. On average, the facility receives 45,000kg of recyclable waste per month and churns over E100,000 in total to individual citizens every month. According to Mfanzile Xaba, Buy Back Centre Supervisor, there is a massive response from people of Manzini urban area and surrounding areas. Xaba says at least 30 people bring recyclable waste to the facility on a daily basis and are paid instantly subsequent to weighing of the waste material. He adds that the facility is now home to regular customers who bring waste on a daily basis as a means of survival. “What they like the most is that they get their money instantly. No waiting period. This enables them to meet their daily households needs such as food, health care and toiletries”, says Xaba. He says the type of waste that the facility receives the most is cardboard boxes, scrap metal, tins and plastics.
When compacted, tins can fetch an average of E500 from the Manzini Buy Back Centre per bale; depending on the weight. The facility, which is located at the far end of Esselen Street, below the Manzini abattoir and opposite SEDCO Estate, opens from Monday to Saturday. Tins, cardboard boxes and old car batteries are amongst the highest income earners. Otherwise the facility also accepts paper (such as old magazines, books and newspapers as well as stationery) and corrugated iron sheets. It does not accept copper wire, fire extinguishers, water taps, water meters and manhole covers. “We encourage more citizens of Manzini urban area and surrounding areas to bring recyclable waste so they can earn money out of it. Even the business sector is encouraged to bring waste to the facility. We are grateful to those that already do so”, the supervisor added. Xaba says the company collects bulk recyclable waste anywhere around the Manzini urban area and surrounding areas free of charge ‘…but it must be at least three bales’. He thanks citizens for their support, adding that the company will continue upholding the highest standard of quality service moreso because it is in partnership with a Municipality that is quality certified under the ISO 9001:2015 quality standard. For any information or clarity, the company may be contacted on 7695 1882 or 7838 0739 during business hours.
… ‘I QUIT THIEVERY AND OPTED TO EARN A LIVING OUT OF RECYCLABLE WASTE’
One of the Manzini citizens who depict a perfect example of the Buy Back Centre success stories is 33-year-old Tsepo Dlamini of Masekweni area within the Manzini urban boundary. He says he used to be a popular thief; specializing in cellphone theft but, after learning of the existence of the Manzini Buy Back Centre, he quit thievery and decided to earn a living out of recyclable waste. “I used to rob people of their cellphones. Manzini police know me very well because I was in and out of prison. At some point I was caught and beaten by a mob to the point of death. When I learnt that the Municipal Council of Manzini had established a Buy Back Centre, I decided enough was enough. I specialize in scrap metal. I collect scrap metal within my neighbourhood and sell to the Buy Back Centre. My grandmother lends me her wheelbarrow and I use it to transport the waste all the way from Masekweni to the Buy Back Centre. I then show my appreciation by buying her bread. She appreciates it a lot. I get about E150 per wheelbarrow load and that’s good money for me. It’s better than stealing. There are many of us who survive out of the Buy Back Centre and we are so grateful to the Municipality for providing such an economic upliftment mechanism in our city. Jobs are scarce. This is one of the ways to bridge the gap”, said Dlamini.
…SHYLOCKS ARE NOW A THING OF THE PAST – SAYS 69-YEAR-OLD
Another regular to the Manzini Buy Back Centre is 69-year-old Sam Gamedze of Ncandweni area; who is employed as a night watchman in one of the Hardware Stores in the city. “I’m employed as a night watchman. In the morning when I knock-off I go to bed, wake up around noon and go to town to collect waste. I largely specialize in cardboard boxes and plastic. I walk around Manzini city, picking recyclable waste and stuff them in large bags. When I have collected enough, I contact the Buy Back Centre on 7838 0739 and they collect the waste free of charge. We are so grateful to AMZ Recycling for the free-of-charge transportation. It shows they really care about us. They want us to enjoy our earnings in full. I sell to the Buy Back Centre almost on a daily basis and earn an average E60 per day. That counts for something at the end of the month. I use the waste earnings to buy food and use my salary to engage in serious projects back home. Reliance on loan sharks is a thing of the past for me and I am grateful to God for that. How I wish the youth and other unemployed citizens could consider earning money out of waste. There is good money at the Manzini Buy Back Centre. Stop thinking what your peers will say. Just do this and be happy”, says Gamedze.