On Tuesday, 9 April 2019, SERI litigation fellow Khululiwe Bhengu and researcher Kelebogile Khunou attended the Department of Environmental Affairs’ National Waste Picker Integration Workshop in Pretoria. The workshop was attended by approximately 100 municipal officials, waste pickers, private sector stakeholders and members of civil society. The purpose of the workshop was to increase knowledge about waste pickers and waste picker integration and share the draft National Guidelines on Waste Picker Integration.
The workshop began with speakers from the South African Waste Pickers Association (SAWPA) and the African Reclaimers’ Organisation (ARO), who provided insight into the contribution of waste pickers to South Africa’s waste management and recycling system and highlighted the importance of continued engagement between all stakeholders in the implementation of waste picker integration.
The workshop participants then broke up into groups and discussed specific actions related to implementing waste picker integration like registration of waste pickers in the City of Johannesburg, the process of integration at landfill sites and transformation of the waste management system.