For a long time Isipingo resident Xolani Maphumulo would wake up, uncertain as to where his next paycheck would be coming from.
Unemployment occupied his mind constantly as he walked from building to building, as it does for over 6.7 million unemployed people nationwide, in Isipingo collecting refuse for recycling; a difficult and inconsistent job at best.
That was until he was given a life changing moment that would see Xolani become part of the Abhelengi Bemvelo Project, Boxer’s ‘green initiatives’ section of the company which specifically aims at caring for the community and the environment.
Now, Xolani is tasked to sort through Boxer’s excess plastics & cardboard and uses the waste baler at Boxer Isipingo (one of many based at dozens of Boxer Superstores across South Africa) to compress the sorted items into 40kg bales.
“I am happy that I can now earn a living and help the environment at the same time,” said Xolani.
About Boxer’s Abhelengi Bemvelo Project
The Abhelengi Bemvelo Project has two main aims: to create meaningful jobs through sustainable enterprise development and to maintain initiatives which are environmentally sustainable while promoting a healthier future for generations to come.
Xolani is one of more than 140 people who have been employed by Boxer to take care of and maintain the company’s recycling project.
Instead of having to deliver the recycled bales to the recycling depots himself, Xolani and his peers pack the bales into Boxer trucks which return the bales to the Boxer Distribution Centres across the country.
These bales are then sent to recycling depots which pay for the bales and that money is given directly to the recyclers.
“By absorbing the cost and effort required to deliver those bales, we are ensuring our Abhelengi Bemvelo Project recyclers are able to earn a wage without needing to spend their personal money and time on the very challenging task of delivery bales daily.
“It’s a cost we are more than happy to absorb because it people such as Xolani to survive while making a positive impact in the environment,” said Boxer Marketing Director Andrew Mills.
The numbers speak for themselves: in 2019 over 2609 tonnes of waste was collected and recycled from 140 stores reducing many thousands of metres of waste ending up in landfills.
With load shedding and electricity a major issue in South Africa, Boxer saved over 13 million kWh of electricity and over 44 000 trees. Over 73 million litres of water were also conserved, allowing the precious resource to be used elsewhere in South Africa.
Combining these figures with the fact that 140 people who were previously unemployed now have an income generating business, Boxer’s Abhelengi Bemvelo Project, which translates as “Rescuers of the Environment” in isiZulu, is indeed coming to the rescue.
Image Caption: Abhelengi Bemvelo Project Isipingo co-ordinator Xolani Maphumulo prepares another bale for KwaZulu-Natal Boxer Isipingo Branch Manager Nelson Mfayela.