SAB and the Re-Trade project creates a sustainable future for Gqeberha
To help waste collectors in Gqeberha make a decent living through recycling, the South African Breweries (SAB) has partnered with The Re-Trade Project with the completion of a newly constructed Re-Trade depot, the only one of its kind in the city and a significant upliftment.
With the eco-depot officially opened in Walmer, Gqeberha, this community-based recycling and social empowerment project will sustainably provide its members and the community with an opportunity to be environmentally responsible, while gaining access to food and other essentials, including training on eco-sustainable practices and solutions. Through a bartering system, waste collectors, families and community members can collect recyclable waste in exchange for points, which can be redeemed for goods sold in their trade store.
Director of Sustainability and Agriculture at SAB, Josh Hammann says, “The sustainability of our communities has always been of the utmost importance to SAB. We are proud to find a partner as committed as we are to driving circularity and sustainability, in the Re-Trade Project, as together we not only aid in sustainable communities, but a sustainable environment as well.”
In addition, SAB has roped in its local operation, Ibhayi Brewery, to provide fresh spinach through its Project Imifino – an initiative that uses wastewater from the brewery to grow spinach through a commercial 2000m2 drip irrigation system. SAB will supply the Re-Trade depot with 350kg of fresh spinach per year, which will be used as produce to be bartered for in exchange for waste.
Re-Trade Project Acting Director, Maria Grewer welcomes the support from SAB and adds that “We are excited to be partnering with SAB on new and amazing future initiatives to be able to increase our impact in our community. We have a new goal of doubling our trading program from 30 to 60 traders and to be able to equip them with more mobile units to transport waste as well as potential programs to connect them online with the wider community!”
With almost half of its traders being female, Store Manager and beneficiary of the project, Funeka Sobele, says that just like herself, this program is changing women's lives. Previously they would have had no other way to increase their very small incomes but now they can! “Just a few extra groceries a week can help save money for school fees and other necessities” says Sobele.
Hammann believes this partnership is one that speaks to the core values of SAB. “We always aim to uplift our communities. Through Project Imifino and Re-Trade, we can witness a community single-handedly lift itself up and create a future for itself. We must never underestimate the power of community, especially when it meets the power of corporate partnership.”