Press Coverage: AeT’s commendation at the AfriSam-SAIA Awards 2012

Compiled by Tasmi Quazi

Two articles have profiled the recent commendation received by Asiye eTafuleni (AeT) at the 2012 AfriSam-South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) Awards for the Inner-city Cardboard Recycling Project.

The photo featured in SCI’s article with the elated recyclers and AeT staff (Photo by Mxolisi Cele)

The article titled “Award for aiding paper recyclers” written by Monique Schoeman for The Witness includes pertinent comments from AeT’s Project Leader, Richard Dobson, who speaks to the unique opportunity that architects have to stimulate alternative and sustainable urban configurations. Schoeman writes:

‘…Dobson said the award was not his, but that of the recyclers. He said that architecture profession was much broader than it seemed, as it encompassed a community of practitioners and what they are contributing to a new urbanised area.
“We’re trying to lay down new aspirations about the future.”’

The second article written by Amanda Botes, titled “Inner-City Cardboard Recycling Project wins Sustainable Architecture Awards” for Sustainable Cities International (SCI) highlights the value of a non-building intervention and its contribution to sustainable architecture through the category ‘work of social significance’.  As Botes cites both AeT’s Research Officer and SCI’s CEO:

Richard Dobson receives the Commendation at the AfriSam-SAIA Award 2012 on behalf of the Project
Richard Dobson receives the Commendation at the AfriSam-SAIA Award 2012 on behalf of the Project

‘On the award, Tasmi Quazi researcher at Asiye eTafuleni stated “The award has been significant in further foregrounding a marginalised activity within the built environment fraternity, particularly in highlighting the possibilities of the creative inclusion of this livelihood activity into urban plans.” Quazi further explained the benefit of the awards to the informal recyclers themselves “… the recyclers reported that it has increased their self-esteem and pride in their work, as more and more circles of potential influential stakeholders are recognising their contributions to the city’s waste management function, the green economy, the environment and society at large.”

Jane McRae, CEO of SCI, congratulated Asiye eTafulani on the award “Since 2009 we have watched excitedly as this project has grown. Asiye eTafuleni has not only assisted with equipment for informal recyclers but has enhanced the visibility and credibility of informal recyclers within the city. This award further contributes to raising awareness of including informal workers in urban planning decision-making projects in cities.”’

For AeT, the Project was made possible as a result of the unique commission which was partially funded by SCI, the Canadian International Development Agency and eThekwini Municipality’s Imagine Durban Project since 2009. As a collective, through more considered and coordinated approaches with city departments, international partners, social workers and especially the receptiveness of the informal recyclers, the Project has been able to foreground the marginalised activity of informal recycling. In the true sense of sustainability, the project has been advancing a more substantial contribution by bridging various aspects of sustainability; encompassing the social, economic, institutional and environmental components.

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