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Gezajozi revolutionizes recycling in Joburg

A startup called Gezajozi provides waste pickers in Johannesburg with battery-powered recycling e-trikes and a livable wage. (Gezajozi)

In Johannesburg, a young entrepreneur is transforming the city’s recycling. Sue Grant-Marshall reports for South Africa’s Business Day that 23-year-old Gabriel Ally helps waste pickers earn a livable wage by outfitting them with battery-powered e-trikes. The equipment allows the workers to double their loads, which helps them earn more money.

To promote safety, the three wheelers are outfitted with lights, brakes and turn signal indicators. Ally lined up financial backers for his startup, GezaJozi, and sells ad space on the trikes. But for this former Johannesburg junior mayor, the recycling program is mostly about public service. Ally wants to bring these workers into the fold of the formal economy and teach them the importance of saving and budgeting, the article says.

He also sees a critical need to reduce the amount of trash in Joburg’s landfills. A 2010 study found that only 3 percent of South Africa’s urban population recycles, BDLive notes. “If Joburg continues to use landfill for 90 percent of its waste it will probably run out of space by 2030,” Ally warns. 

Business Day

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