Who We Are?

Our Mission

South Africa has more than 90 000 Waste Pickers. The South African Waste Pickers Association (SAWPA), is an Organisation of more than 1000 registered waste pickers from all nine provinces of South Africa.

The organised movement started in 2007, and it was constituted in 2009 during the first national meeting of waste pickers in Africa. groundWork has been a partnering organisation of SAWPA since its inception.SAWPA members are based on waste dump sites and on the streets of cities and towns across the country.

They play a key role in environment justice and mitigating climate change by collecting and selling waste as a livelihood strategy. They divert materials such as plastic, cardboard, paper and metals away from waste dumps and recycle them – thereby reducing GHG emissions from waste dumpsites and reducing reliability on virgin material.

Meet Our Leaders

National Coordinator 

Simon Mbata

Western Cape

Madie Koena 

Nompumelelo Njana 

Vuyo Papa 


Nonhlanhla Mhlophe 

Nsizwa Shabalala 

Sibongile Khumalo 

Eastern Cape

Nwabisa Mhlawuli 

Ntombi Grangxa 

Ntlahla Mbana 

North West

Frans Moonye  

Goitsimodimo Motsumi 

Ndosi Joel Nebe 

Northern Cape








Free State

Abram Tumaeletsi 

Beauty Jantjie 

Phines Melamu 


Eva Mokoena 

Msindo Makhanya 

Mantwa Mokoena 


Sylvia Repetswa


Our Partners