The Mpumalanga’s rural-based environmental Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) known as Africa Green Earth has signed a deal with Barberton mines, which will see them using plastic and other recyclable material to produce oil and fuel which will be used in the mines.
The NPO team leader Lindiwe Ngobeni said the deal had been finalised and they were now doing final preparations to start working on their new project.
The NPO which is based in Matsulu, a rural area outside Mbombela is known for its work of manufacturing clothes, artwork, and other valuable material using recycled material.
Ngobeni said the deal was signed in October, but it was put on hold because of the national lockdown, so this year they decided to implement the project. The mines that would benefit from the deal include the Consort mine, Shiba mine, and Fair View
She said phase one of the project would create 15 jobs, while the second face was expected to create more jobs. She said the deal was signed after they negotiated with the three mines and reached a conclusion that they collect the waste from the mines.
They would then mix it with the other waste materials that they collect in the communities to make the oil.
“This project will assist the mines to minimise costs as our fuel will be affordable compared to ordinary fuels. And another good thing about it is because it minimises air pollution,” she said.
Since the NPO was started six years ago it has manufactured clothes, shoes, handbags, aprons, and toys, which were donated to poor communities around Mpumalanga.
“We have produced a lot of different kinds of things using waste material, but signing for a fuel-producing deal is the biggest thing that ever happened since we started our organisation. “We are looking forward to working with the different entities that we have partnered with on this project. Now we are busy finalising some paperwork so that we can start working,” Ngobeni said.
“Since we are now a team of eight women, we are planning to employ more people because of this new deal,” Ngobeni said.
She said when they started their recycling business she was not sure it was going to succeed.
Jack Magongo, who is the NPO mentor, said he was excited to see the women-owned organisation progressing in business. “It is a good thing to see this group doing well in Business. I am also excited about the deal they signed with the mines. Our country needs such innovation to reduce air pollution,” Magongo said.
Barberton Mines Head of Local Economic Development has confirmed the deal but was reluctant to release more information on the ground that: “The project is still in its “infancy” stage now. I believe in the next three months we will be able to comment about its progress.”