When temporary disability put electrical engineer Siyabonga Shange out of work for two years, making it nearly impossible to get his job back, he started Sbumeister Plastics, a plastics recycling business. Shange sources his plastics with the help of Durban-based USE-IT, a waste beneficiation organisation launched eight years ago by an entrepreneur named Chris Whyte. USE-IT has a partnership with (and funding from) the Durban City Metropolitan Area in the local eThekiwini municipality, giving Whyte and his team access to the municipality’s waste to create business opportunities and employment for people like Shange.Umgibe, a co-operative with about 500 members, 95% women, also sources plastics from USE-IT, using it to protect vegetable plants from pests or to transform into items such as handbags and coffee tables for sale. The co-operative’s members receive training from USE-IT as well. Nonhlanhla Joye, Umgibe’s founder, said: "We have got ourselves out of poverty, and Chris Whyte ...

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