Lead SALead SA

PE project gives unemployed a helping hand with innovative trading system

Written by: Megan Ellis

A local initiative is combining recycling and social upliftment by creating an innovative trading system for underprivileged and unemployed people in Port Elizabeth.

With the Re-Trade Project, people can trade in recyclable goods for essentials such as food, clothing, and toiletries. According to the non-profit organisation, its goal is to maintain dignity and self-worth among underprivileged individuals by giving the opportunity to trade instead of asking for hand-outs.

"The Re-Trade Project has a vision to provide underprivileged communities with an opportunity to be environmentally aware and access resources to fulfill their basic human needs while still maintaining the human worth and dignity within each person."

Re-Trade Project

The NPO calls this a "value-for-value" system. Each trader is granted credit depending on the number of recyclables they bring to the exchange depot. This credit can then be spent on food and other items available from the project's Trade Store.

These items are either donated by individuals and businesses, or bought by Re-Trade using the proceeds from the recyclables. All profits from selling the recyclables to a local recycling company go back into stocking the store.

Exchanges take place on Friday mornings at Fountain Vineyard in Port Elizabeth.

"The ReTrade Project aims to impact and create change in the lives of our traders while promoting an environmentally sustainable work culture. The issue for many individuals in South Africa is that poverty restricts them from being able to gain access to basic needs."

Re-Trade Project

How to help

If you would like to get involved and help the project, you can do so in several ways.

These include:

  • Food/ toiletries donations
  • Financial donations
  • Recyclable goods donations (which generate income for the Trade Store to buy more stock for the traders)
  • Volunteering at the Trade Store
  • Corporate donations of recycling rebates from a waste management company

To find out more about the initiative, you can visit the Re-Trade Project Facebook page.




Read next from articles

Team of South Africans to row across Atlantic to help children in need

Team of South Africans to row across Atlantic to help children in need

The MAD 4 Waves team wants to make a difference for underprivileged children - so they're taking on a 5 550km rowing journey.
Read on...

Nation Builder Top Tip: Social investment is fundamentally about people

Nation Builder Top Tip: Social investment is fundamentally about people

A lot of businesses feel intimidated or overwhelmed when it comes to understanding social development. Here are a few tips...
Read on...

KZN learners make their school more eco-friendly

KZN learners make their school more eco-friendly

Learners at Swelihle High School in Umlazi township are putting their best foot forward as future environmental champs, by planting a sustainable, water-wise garden.
Read on...

Free eBook teaches kids essential lessons about saving water

Free eBook teaches kids essential lessons about saving water

A free children's book called 'Sibo Saves Water' is available online to help teach young kids how and why they must save water.
Read on...

Becoming a reader of the human library

Becoming a reader of the human library

The launch of Human Library Cape Town gave people the chance to open dialogues with people from vastly different backgrounds.
Read on...

What can we learn about inequality in SA from Oxfam's report?

What can we learn about inequality in SA from Oxfam's report?

In January, Oxfam released their report on global inequality. But what does the report tell us about the situation in SA?
Read on...