City of Cape Town-funded WISP initiative good for people and the planet
24 June 2021
STATEMENT BY THE MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES AND ASSET MANAGEMENT, ALDERMAN JAMES VOS
A few days ago, I had the opportunity to see how businesses are reaping the rewards of the Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Programme (WISP), an initiative that demonstrates environmental and socio-economic sustainability.
WISP is a City of Cape Town-funded platform facilitated free of charge to businesses by our Special Business Partner, GreenCape. Under this programme, GreenCape develops mutually profitable links between companies from all industrial sectors, so that under-utilised and waste resources from one company can be recovered, reprocessed and re-used by others.
It’s a solution that allows participating businesses to cut costs, improve processes, create new revenue streams and job opportunities, all while positively impacting the environment through the re-purposing of waste.
I was able to see this in action when I visited Siyavana Solutions, a small business in Bellville that service the oil and petroleum industry.
Under WISP, GreenCape identified that the business could develop an upcycling solution for decommissioned fuel pumps at energy giant, Shell Petroleum Company. Siyavana refurbishes the pumps, then resells them to Shell at a reduced cost.
Thus far, the project has generated R4 million per year in additional revenue and nine new jobs, all while diverting tonnes of waste from landfills.
This is a perfect example of innovative solutions that benefit both people and the planet.
In fact, since the start of WISP in 2013:
- Over R120 million have been generated in financial benefits through additional revenue, cost savings and private investments.
- Roughly 105 000 tonnes of waste have been diverted from landfills;
- 69 permanent jobs have been created in member companies, 25 temporary positions made available, and 218 economy-wide jobs in supply chains have been created; and
- 309 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions have been saved. This is the equivalent of the annual electricity usage of 83 340 households in South Africa.
And there is far more to gain. According to the Department of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries, South Africa’s ‘waste economy’ has the potential to contribute R11.5 billion per year to GDP, create 127 000 additional jobs and 4 300 new SMMEs.
A more sustainable future depends on programmes such as WISP and I look forward to seeing it expand to the benefit of all in Cape Town.