GreenZA, a private and community project was founded as part of a group of companies called the Young Black African Project to create opportunities for youth and women through recycling. They started operating in 2021 in the rural village of Vuwani in the Vhembe District Municipality.
The lack of waste management services and recycling solutions in rural areas sparked the idea of the company.
“South African rural areas are the hub of our agricultural production and historical recreational nature sites. With their underdeveloped nature, the areas are water scarce and heavily reliant on rivers and/or streams. As a result, rural areas are the worst impacted by global warming and climate change adaptation.”
Anza Muntswu says growing up he had an attitude of dumping waste anywhere and believed that by doing that, he was creating jobs for people.
“My passion and love for recycling rose from my role as a chemist because I served as an R&D chemist in the water treatment industry for five years. The initial idea to start a waste management and recycling business came to me when I noticed the significant amount of waste being generated in our community and the negative impact it had on the environment, especially on our water.
I saw an opportunity to create a sustainable solution that would reduce the amount of waste going to landfills, create a positive impact on the environment, prepare rural communities for development, and generate revenue.”
GreenZA offers a complete range of consulting and services for the waste management and recycling of waste for private, industrial, municipal, and residential sectors. Customised packages include business recycling programs, event recycling, community recycling programs, and developing educational programs.
They buy and collect recyclable materials from schools, shops alcohol outlets, resorts, and purchase from waste collectors through the buy-back center and thus have a stock of recyclable products. GreenZA uses conventional waste management processes involving sorting, collecting, transporting, recycling, and disposing of waste.
Anza believes the future of business lies in sustainability and that companies that prioritise environmental responsibility will ultimately be more successful. GreenZA is excited to be a part of sustainable practices and offers services to businesses and individuals who share their vision of a greener, more sustainable future.
“Our services are different because they promote sustainable entrepreneurship and advocate for rural development. We provide waste management solutions and make people realise that they can make money by simply picking up a plastic bottle while eradicating climate change at its root by promoting a circular economy in the village.
Recycling is such an important part of the waste management process and helps to conserve natural resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills or the natural environment.”
GreenZA promotes the creation of jobs, women and youth empowerment, economic development, and poverty alleviation. According to GreenZA, a study shows that most residents do not have access to adequate waste management services. Their awareness and recycling programs help to improve building blocks for sustainable growing rural communities.
“We trust that building a network of technology partners, suppliers, and expertise across the country is attainable as we move towards achieving the 2030 vision and ensuring GreenZA excellence.”
Mentor Reuben Rammbuda says that GreenZA has unbelievable potential to empower the local communities in terms of employment creation.
“The dependency ratio in Vuwani is presumably very high, therefore the business is making a memorable impact by also contributing to the local economic development and remains an encouragement to young people.”
This article was first published in Polokwane Review
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Anza Muntswu is a participant on Fetola’s Circular Economy Accelerator (CEA), a sustainability growth solution which empowers South African entrepreneurs to build successful, environmentally-sound businesses, in partnership with J.P. Morgan, the Embassy of Finland in Pretoria and Nedbank.