Life is cheap when you can’t afford safety gear

Life is cheap when you can’t afford safety gear

Waste pickers are pictured in Newtown, Johannesburg, 24 March 2020. They were speaking to The Citizen on how the lockdown will affect their livelihood. Picture: Tracy lee Stark

‘I have no idea what I will do or where I will go during the lockdown as I live on the streets or in parks. I have no choice but to continue to collect waste.’

Waste collectors who make a living off dumpsites are fearful of contracting the coronavirus from contaminated waste material because they cannot afford protective gear. Thabang Motaung said he has been collecting recycled waste for the past three years around Jeppe and Newtown in Johannesburg as a form of income. Since the first confirmed coronavirus case in the city earlier this month, he has used gloves and a jacket to cover his face when collecting waste from dustbins and dumpsites. “I have feared scratching in the dustbins since the virus hit this country because it is very difficult to tell which...




today in print