Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality together with its strategic partners, Buffalo City Metropolitan Development Agency (BCMDA) and Border Kei Chamber of Business (BKCOB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and sourced funding from the National Treasury to implement the Public Employment Pr
The PEP has created 787 employment opportunities which have improved the livelihoods of BCMM citizens while strengthening waste service delivery programmes in all the three regions, that is the central business districts, formal and informal residential areas and tourist attraction areas including student villages.

The implementation of the PEP has positive spin-offs for the city, said BCMM spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya.

“They include creating involvement and participation of the communities in the waste management issues and improvement of quality of the BCMM waste management services even during peak seasons such as festive and Easter.”

Ngwenya said increased recycling rate as one of the deliverables of the partnership involved establishment of Buy Back Centres to enhance collection of recyclable waste.“Other benefits are an improved beautification of the city through public arts and planting of trees, implementation of shift system to prevent staff exhaustion and a significant reduction of overtime expenditure which allows budget to be redirected to other strategic requirements.”

BCMM has piloted the Waste Picker Integration initiative with University of Johannesburg (UJ), Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Environment (DFFE) and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).The intention was to learn the best approach suitable for the formalising and integrating Waste Pickers into the city’s waste management system, while the Waste Pickers also benefit in the process.

A data base of Waste Pickers within the metro has been successfully created and it will assist further implementation of the programme.The Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality’s solid waste department had a programme as part of the executive mayor Princess Faku’s first 100 days to ensure a clean and green city.The programme intended to improve waste management services, provision and functionalisation of the waste management facilities, beautification of major entrances and exits into and out of the city, conserving the airspace (lifespan) of the city's landfill sites and reducing costs with regard to collection and transport of waste.To ensure that this was realised, the programme was segmented into sections that is integrated greening and cleaning programme, clearance of illegal dumps, establishment of buy back centres and creation of temporary employments.

The Integrated greening and cleaning programme entailed service delivery cleanup campaigns with community awareness raising were conducted in all three regions of the city namely Stoney Drift, Gonubie, Nompumelelo, Mdantsane, North End and Phakamisa.

These cleaning programmes were conducted jointly with internal and external stakeholders with activities undertaken included grass cutting, bush clearance , clearance of illegal dumps, gutter clearance, education and awareness programmes were conducted for communities, businesses, and schools, planting of trees and public paintings and art in the buy back centres.

On Clearance illegal dumps programme, where the illegal dumps occur in open spaces and along pavements, the programme is mainly informed by supervisor inspections and community complaints in all three regions.The department is in the process of developing a Guideline for an Adopt a Spot programme that will be piloted in identified areas.

A multi-stakeholder initiative is implemented by sister departments and external stakeholders, to respond to contravention of the Solid Waste Management By- Law focusing on prevention of littering and illegal dumping.The Law Enforcement Unit under the directorate of public safety and emergency Services assisted the department with responding to contraventions of solid waste bylaws, focusing on littering and dumping.The transgressions were investigated by law enforcement and those that contravened the law were issued with fines.

The establishment of Buy Back centres were established in all three regions Qonce, Mdantsane, Mzamomhle and Nompumelelo as means of reducing the volumes of waste collected and transported to the distant landfill sites.The collected recyclables include paper, cardboard boxes, plastics, cans, to name just a few.The experience and role played by the Waste Pickers in collection of recyclables has been realised through implementation of this project. Waste Picker integration programme also complements the Public Employment Programme, as most of the patrons of the Buy Back centres are waste pickers.

The city has also signed the expanded public works programme’s (EPWP) inter-governmental service level agreement with the National department of public works for the implementation of the Community Based Provision of Integrated Solid Waste and Environment project and 391 temporary employment opportunities were created to assist with waste management activities.

On the Eastern Cape Greening and Cleaning Programme in Buffalo City Metro (Flood Mopping and Cleaning Project), BCMM together with the DFFE identified strategic areas that were affected by Disaster Floods in January 2022.The recommendations from a situational analysis that was conducted by various stakeholders suggested that a cleaning programme be implemented to prevent littering and blockage of storm water drains and pollution of streams.A total of 200 participants were recruited to clean strategic areas for prevention of littering and further pollution of streams and storm water.