BULAWAYO, Tuesday, September 3, 1991 — Cde Maxwell Sibanda (41) is one of the many people who, at 7.30 every morning report for “work” at a place in Pumula, Bulawayo, in a bid to eke out a living. But unlike most people in employment, Cde Sibanda and his fellow “workers” work at “mara”, the municipal rubbish dump.
When The Chronicle visited the dumping site recently, about 20 people were found resting, waiting for refuse trucks and other vehicles to bring in fresh garbage. Like any of those in employment these people have to make themselves feel as much at home at their “workplace” throughout the day.
The Bulawayo City Council offers tenders every year to employers interested in sending their workers to scavenge for any reusable material at the dumps. The Director of Health Services, Dr Bannet Nyathi, said the companies and individuals who responded to the tenders were charged a fee which varied depending on what was being sought. Some of those hired by companies make as little as $5 a week while others sometimes make a s much as $30 within the same period from selling what they find to companies which re cycle the material.
Cde Dani Ncube is about 70 years old and is probably the oldest among these people. He picks old clothing and pieces of cloth for a local company which pays him and his colleagues a commission.