Unstoppable women-led recycling business Vuku Zenzele set for expansion

Vuku Zenzele multi-recycling (VMR) women-led business in Cape Town is steadily developing since first starting activity in spring 2020 and despite all the challenges laid out by the pandemic.

They have recently expanded geographically, cutting the red tape on 2 new warehouses (for a total of 3) operating as multi-material sorting facilities. Sourcing materials through two main channels, VMR counts both on materials coming directly from household consumers as part of the City Municipality waste segregation pilot project, as well as on community-based mobile collection by informal pickers.

Currently equipped with 2 balers and one truck for collection and delivery, the facilities have created jobs for 14 female sorters and 7 male sorters. In addition, they have two female-run co-operatives and one male-led co-op within the informal settlements they service.

“As three female directors, we are very committed to maintaining a team of sorters with a strong female presence” states Bronte Moeti, VMR co-Director and head of Marketing. “The business has definitely proved to be a wonderful lesson that women should be in all spaces and places where decisions are being made, despite society saying that this sector is not for us. We are most grateful for the support shown to a small business that endeavours to put community and especially female community members front and centre.”

VMR’s expansion, however, does not stop here. They are developing also in skill and reach, as they have recently introduced additional recyclable materials to their stream and have taken on a challenging pilot project focused on hard-to -recycle plastics, such as multi-layered plastics. Next milestone will be to officially start selling the new products b

In case you were wondering, “wake up and do it” is the translation of Vuku Zenzele, an enterprise certainly living up to their name.

Our best wishes from the FPA with the new projects and looking forward to follow-up on the recent developments!

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