The South African Gary Player Invitational (GPI), presented by Coca-Cola, which features Major golf champions, celebrities and top-flight businessmen rubbing shoulders on the fairways, has chosen Wildlands Conservation Trust, Qhubeka implementation partner, as one of their beneficiaries for the past several years.
In November 2012, an innovative partnership between Coca-Cola, Qhubeka and Wildlands was announced at the Gary Player Invitational. This partnership aimed to support the Wildlands Waste-preneur project rollout. Waste-preneurs are community members who barter waste for livelihood support items. This partnership sees Wastepreneurs earning Coca-Cola bicycles by bartering collected plastic and PET bottles, with a view to incentivising the collection of these materials. The model is based on the collection of an average of 4,000 2l PET bottles per bicycle.
On 7 March 2014, 77 bicycles were distributed to deserving Waste-preneurs from the uMsunduzi and uMngeni Municipality districts. One of these Waste-preneurs was 82-year old Nyakallo Allinah Khambule from Kwapata in uMsunduzi. “I will sell my bike and get money to buy food for my grandchildren,” she said.
The shiny red Coca-Cola bicycles will contribute to the reduction of a community’s carbon footprint as a form of transport, as well as reducing travel time to school and work and providing community members with a healthy form of physical activity.
The partnership between the Gary Player Invitational (GPI), Wildlands and Qhubeka is aligned with Gary Player’s philosophy in his business operations of always respecting the land and its natural beauty and biodiversity. The GPI is presented by Coca-Cola, and by supporting Wildlands, Coca-Cola is also able to demonstrate its commitment to climate protection and active healthy living.
“More than 1,000 Waste-preneurs have collected over 1 million PET (plastic) bottles this past year. This staggering achievement is real testimony to the impact of this wonderful project, made possible by the GPI and Coca-Cola,” said Wildlands CEO Dr Andrew Venter.
Images by Kelvin Trautman