Comrade Siphiwo Pula, 57 years old man born in the Eastern Cape in a town called Kumbu. He is left with his only brother and his mother passed on. He is currently living in Orange Farm extension 4 in Gauteng Province. He arrived in Gauteng looking for a better work and living conditions. Comrade Siphiwo highest educational level is grade 8, but he managed to get a job as a security personnel.
He went to do recycling after he lost his job as a security personnel. Recycling led him to become an activist when he joined ARO (African Reclaimers organisation). They marched to the MMC office to have rights for good working conditions and recognition by the department of Environmental Affairs. ARO is working together with Coca Cola and Khanya college.
Their main focus is recognition and inclusion. They want to have good communication and understanding with the organisations they work with. “Being in control of the recycling industry is what we are fighting for” he said. ARO is now in charge of registration of waste packers, this is one of the achievements that the organisation must cherish.
Comrade Siphiwo joined ARO because he wanted to make his community clean. His role in ARO is that he is a one of the directors, but they have challenges they are currently facing which is not having an office and finances. Woman they work with are unsafe in some of areas they work at. With the inspiration of their coordinator, they became united and love what they do.
This article was submitted as part of the Imbila Yesu publication produced daily for the duration of the Winter School in 2022 (17-22 July 2022). It appeared in Edition 1, released on 18 July 2022.
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