Enterprise development

To us at the AMWN, recycling is not just a matter of recovering recyclable material, it’s a total economic system: it’s a way in which we can contribute towards the creation of the circular economy where communities collect, recycle and reuse products they purchased. Through recycling, we believe it’s possible to turn Africa’s plastic pollution into cash by creating sustainable, scientific-based and well engineered industries that can create not just jobs and income opportunities for the urban poor, while reducing negative environmental impacts.

In the long term, we believe the success of recycling and its value will not be based on how much landfill space is saved, but on whether or not recycling makes economic sense and contributes to the well-being of the people by reducing poverty and unemployment and creating sustainable economies. We will tackle enterprise development through three primary means:

Recyclable collection

Through partnership with Polyco, we will roll out a Packa-Ching project in Nelson Mandela Bay in early 2019. Packa-Ching aims to increase recycling in informal settlements and lower-income areas in South Africa. The idea behind the project is to tap into a new market of recyclable packaging material in order to decrease the amount of packaging waste entering landfills. This project will effectively spearhead a fundamental shift in how South Africans recycle by incentivising a change in behaviour on a social and environmental level.


Precious Plastic is a project trying to boost plastic recycling worldwide. It tries try to do that by providing tools and knowledge to people around the world and to give people solutions to fight plastic pollution. Through the open source online tutorials by Precious Plastics. We will identify environmental activists within communities before the end of 2019 to roll out some of this easy-to-use project so that they can create products from collected recyclable material and sell them and create profit, which in turn will create jobs and fight poverty.

Small business start-up programmes

Through partnerships with government and business, over the next year we will have workshops that will enable community members to learn how to start up business ventures, source funds and convert these into profitable ventures. In the same regard, we will open doors for small businesses through the steering committee to interact with retailers, tourism, government and any other business to access clients and promote their products.

Namhla Mbunge, who heads up Enterprise Development at SST, was interviewed at the AMWN Communications and Networking Conference held in Port Elizabeth in October 2018. The AMWN is a project of SST.