She fights for a future amid the filth

03 May 2019 - 07:00 By Jackie Clausen

A waste picker can make up to R2500 a week on plastic alone and can move up to eight tons of recycling from landfills every month. TimesLive takes a closer look at the conditions that these eco-warriors face.

With her painted face that matches a grubby mustard-coloured ANC shirt, Philiswa Vamanda stands in a mountain of filth, her dream of becoming a nurse now a distant memory.

The 22-year-old may be petite but she is no pushover where she works as a waste picker at the often treacherous Msunduzi Landfill in Pietermaritzburg, where sorting through the mountain of discarded waste can have deadly consequences.