Mamelodi West youth aim to fight poverty, unemployment

Mamelodi West youth fight unemployment by cleaning dustbins. Photo Supplied.

The local youth are creating jobs for themselves by cleaning waste bins in the community amid Covid-19 crisis.

With some people having lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic, young members of the community in Mamelodi West started a business of cleaning dustbins aimed at fighting poverty and unemployment.

The business was started by one of the members who came up with the idea of cleaning mats for the community. However, the business idea was changed into cleaning dustbins especially for the elderly people who are unable to clean the bins.

One of the founders, Musa Hlatswayo, said: “Since we are still under lockdown and the President Cyril Ramaphosa suggested we keep clean and hygienic at all times, the business idea quickly turned into something bigger than we expected.”

They started a company called Makomba Ndlela Hygiene and cleans waste bins every Monday right after the Tshwane waste management have emptied the bins.

Hlatswayo said they quickly turned a nearby illegal dumping site into a place of business where they clean the dustbins at the corner of Malaka Street in Mamelodi West, section B3.

“We clean the bins, polish them and put a waste plastic bag inside before we hand it over to the owner of the house,” said Hlatswayo.

Makomba Ndlela Hygiene consists of 11 youth members. They clean the dustbins for R10 or R20 for pensioners every week.

Lucas Mabunda, a community leader in the area made the project possible by donating cleaning materials.

“They started something that will create job opportunities for the youth as well as stopping illegal dumping which could have created an unhealthy environment.

“Most of the youth have qualifications, but the problem is unemployment and getting jobs that always requires work experience.”

Mabunda encouraged the youth to take charge and do something to change their own lives as well as moving to other areas to encourage their peers to start businesses to fight poverty.

The unemployment rate in the country currently stood at 30.1%, which is the highest rate ever recorded, according to Stats South Africa (Stats SA).

Stats SA said the number of unemployed people increased to 7.1 million in the first quarter, however, this was before the Covid-19 lockdown which came into place in March.

“The number of employed persons decreased by 38,000 to 16.4 million and the number of unemployed persons increased by 344,000 to 7.1 million in the first quarter.”

Meanwhile, the largest employment decreases were observed in the formal sector (50,000), followed by the agricultural sector with 21,000 in the first quarter while, employment in the informal sector and private households increased by 3,000 and 30,000 respectively.

This article first appeared on Rekord East and was republished with permission.

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