eWaste jobs: Gauteng is looking for people to get rid of toxic electronics

  • Gauteng eGovernment is looking to hire people to aid the province in its ewaste disposal.
  • Ewaste, the final stage of life of electronics, can be both environmentally and physically dangerous if disposed of improperly.
  • The electronic waste problem continues to grow worldwide despite the number of valuable materials that exist within thrown-away technology.

Ewaste, the final stage of the life of electronics like old computers, their accessories as well as obsolete smartphones, antiquated cabling, thrown-away silicon chips and just about any other electronic product that has been tossed, can be toxic to both the local environment and to the people that live within it.

Globally, the problem continues to grow seemingly exponentially. It is now forecast that annual ewaste production will reach an immense 75 million metric tons by 2030 if something isn’t done to urgently begin curbing its growth.

According to the Geneva Environment Network, ewaste contains both valuable materials like copper and harmful toxins that can run off into the soil, air, water and living things such as animals and people. An example is the process of using acid baths or open-air burning to recover copper from ewaste which can leach toxic chemicals into the soil.

Workers dabbling in unsafe and improper ewaste disposals can run the risk of being exposed to high levels of lead, mercury, cadmium and even arsenic.

Last year we wrote about how ewaste in South Africa continues to be a non-issue for the average passerby in the street despite initiatives launched by companies like Samsung to begin addressing the problem in the country.

“We’re reimagining environmental sustainability into everything we do from packaging to product design, energy consumption to recycling,” explained Hlubi Shivanda, director of the business innovation group and corporate affairs at Samsung South Africa, at the time.

Today, it looks like the Gauteng department of eGovernance is looking for people to handle ewaste disposal:

According to an official Twitter post, the Gauteng Department of eGovernment says it “is in the process of implementing the Gauteng eWaste Management Strategy aimed at instituting safe and effective measures for the collection, processing and disposal of electronic waste in the province.”

Gauteng has a particularly high concentration of electronic waste according to the eWaste Association of South Africa (eWASA), even compared to other major metropolitan areas like KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.

The department has opened 25 ewaste administrative assistant posts for those looking to aid with the run-off technology problem in the province.

eGovernment is looking for people to receive and record ewaste products, as well as for their dismantling and recycling, and for the refurbishment of old technology, among other duties.

Only South African citizens and residents of Gauteng can apply and a matric certificate is required. Former experience sought is in waste management and any experience in an admin job.

Anyone looking to apply should do so quickly as applications close tomorrow 14th October. Applications can be sent to this email.


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