Scores of young men who collect and sell recyclables at Lebowakgomo complex said they are unhappy how community treat them daily.
They said government must give them piece of land to operate their recycling business without being accused of crimes.
Recyclers claims that the community and the police threat them badly and accuse them of being criminals and for that reason amid rising tension rose.
“We are aware that sometimes criminal use this veld to make their escape but that does not mean that we are involved in anything. If anything, we can help security and police in identifying these criminals,” said a guy who regards himself as recyclers’ leader.
Another recycler who didn’t want to be identified to shirk victimisation said residents often made negative remarks about them after their home have broken into.
“We are just trying to make living. We are not nyaopes hence we clear the environment. We are human as well,” said source.
“We are the victims, recently one of us was beaten by police who accused him of stealing household appliances” he said
Nearby complex residents said they feel unsafe because they deem recyclers are the one who steal from them.
“They commit crime during the night here and are the one who stealing from us,” residents accuse recyclers.
Responding to the community recyclers said they clean up the pollution made by the residents.
“If it was not us the environment will be dirty and smelling unpleasant. We pay visits different area to search for recycling material. ,” recyclers clarified.
“We know all the days on which rubbish is collected and go to those area and get what we want then we leave. Surely that is not a crime,” said recyclers leader.
One of the waste pickers applaud the work done by recyclers saying at the complex mostly it is where their products are.
“Government must build collecting and sorting station in each area with nearby hostels to house waste pickers,” she concluded.