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September 2011 - Collect-a-Can recognises outstanding Entrepreneur

South Africa’s unemployment rate is uncomfortably high and with thousands of people sitting at home without some means to earn an income, the need for entrepreneurial development has never been more prevalent. Waste management has emerged as a very real and valid way for people to make money for themselves and also to employ others, thus putting food on a number of tables. “At Collect-a-Can we’ve always strived to support entrepreneurs who wish to build a career for themselves through recovering cans,” says Gregory Masoka, Operations Manager of Collect-a-Can. “As such we like to recognise outstanding entrepreneurs who have proved that a success can be made out of waste recovery,” Masoka concludes.

Joseph Thwala, owner of Sh’na Khna in Randfontein, is one such entrepreneur. Thwala started collecting cans and bringing them to Collect-a-Can three years ago.  Seeing his dedication and entrepreneurial spirit, Collect-a-Can suggested that he start his own operation and provided him with a baler so that he could crush the cans before transporting them, making it possible to move far more cans at a time. Thwala set up his business, Sh’na Khna, on premises at the Auris Industrial site in Randfontein and provides facilities for walk-in collectors to bring him cans. Thwala pays collectors per kilogram for the cans that they bring in; giving many people in the area the opportunity to earn some income through collecting cans. Thwala recognised an opportunity to purchase used cans from the waste pickers who are filtering the recyclable waste out of the Randfontein landfill site and placed an employee at the site to buy directly from these collectors. By not having to transport the cans, collectors save valuable time that can be better spent collecting more cans. “Having your own business isn’t easy,” says Thwala, “as an entrepreneur I face many challenges but it is rewarding to know that I can support myself and my family through this business as well as an employee and I can also facilitate earning opportunities for many walk-in and waste site collectors in my community.” Transportation is a continued challenge for Thwala as he currently pays someone to transport the cans for him but he hopes to eventually buy his own vehicle. Thwala has also started recycling wooden pallets which he repairs and resells.

With inspirational stories such as this Collect-a-Can can’t help but feel proud to part of an industry that facilitates such profound entrepreneurial development.
For more information visit or contact the Collect-a-Can head office on 011 466 2939. Collect-a-Can is also on Facebook and Twitter.

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