THEY were promised they were going to get “thank you” money and certificates to start their own recycling companies at the end of Project Hlwekisa. Volunteers from Quarry Road West squatter camps in Clare Estate in Durban laid their hands on the opportunity.But those volunteers recently told Daily Sun that they were very disappointed in the project organisers: they are still waiting in vain for anything to happen.Project Hlwekisa, an initiative by Coca-Cola is aimed at establishing a sustainable green economy at residential level, drawing in residents as waste collectors while keeping the Umgeni River and its lagoon waste-free. One of the 15 volunteers, Ntombifuthi Zungu (36) said she was upset that the organisers did not live up to their promise.“When they approached us last month they asked us to drop everything we were doing and focus mainly on this project. They even set out a deadline that we needed to work hard to make sure the work was done before or on 15 November.“We are surprised now that they have vanished into thin air,” said Ntombifuthi.Another volunteer, Zandile Ntuli (24) said what made them angry was that they were cleaning up all kinds of dirt without any proper resources.Regional communications specialist at Coca-Cola, Jessie Moodley, said when the project was initially launched residents volunteered to participate in the clean-up activities as part of the embedded awareness campaign.“Due to the extent of the pollution at the river, the clean-up was extended for a further three days. It was then agreed that the additional days would be paid for. Arrangements were since made to effect payment to the volunteers. At the time of the project launch it was still in the process of being finalised.“A total sum of R5 750 has since been paid to the volunteers,” said Moodley.When Daily Sun went back to the volunteers, they denied getting money.
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