An inspirational woman serving the Cape Town community for over 30 years

Caption: Ghairunisa Johnstone, Founder and Director of Mustadafin Foundation (a non-profit organisation operating across the Western Cape and Eastern Cape to uplift communities and empower people), describes herself as a servant of the community, who from the young age of 13 years old found meaning in the act of giving of herself and her time to those in need.

In 1986, a concerned group of friends with a passion and commitment in making a difference in their local community, decided to do something about the plight of those less fortunate than themselves, and so the Mustadafin Foundation was born. Spearheaded by Ghairunisa Johnstone, the group regularly went into informal settlements to assist the less fortunate with preparing food, clothing, health care and education.

As time passed, many of the founders moved on when limited funding made it difficult for the non-profit organisation to sustain itself financially. This did not deter Johnstone who was determined to keep meeting the communities’ growing needs and worked tirelessly to assist the less fortunate with only a driver as support.

During this time the non-profit organisation educated, served and empowered the destitute in being self-sufficient, self-reliant and independent. “During 2013 we worked closely with 150 youth in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain, many of whom attended our youth skills projects, and helped place them in entry level jobs. Sustainability is fundamental in these situations and we provide the necessary tools to people so they can take care of themselves and their families,” says Johnstone.

Education is at the heart of the organisation’s programmes and they use this tool to empower people to make fundamental changes in their lives by providing skills development workshops, job creation programmes, lifestyle workshops and disaster prevention training.

One of Mustadafin Foundation’s daily challenges is funding. Without financial backing the organisation is faced with scarcity of resources, a lack of proper facilities and staff capacity. “Another challenge for us is the places we visit and assist on a daily basis. These communities are often volatile, posing a great safety and security risk. Development within the communities we serve is hindered by gangs, violence and social apathy,” explains Johnstone.

But these challenges are not deterring Mustadafin Foundation to meet its goals. Johnstone says their greatest achievement of the past year was to issue a number of school and tertiary study bursaries for children in need as well as to clothe almost 600 orphans for Eid celebrations. Another proud moment was being recognised in a study at the University of Durban Westville as the number one non-profit organisation in South Africa for delivery with the minimum funds spent on administration.

“Our aim for the end of 2014 is to be a household name in the regions we operate in as the place where people can volunteer to serve the needy, share skills and send their monthly donations to support community development. The best way for people to get involved with our work is to support us financially or to sign-up for volunteering in our numerous projects,” concludes Johnstone.

For any more information about Mustadafin Foundation, and to find out how to donate or to volunteer your skills or equipment for the organisation’s various projects, please visit or contact 021-633-0010.

Mustadafin Foundation is also on Facebook


The Mustadafin Foundation was established in 1986 as a result of political unrest and violence in the Crossroads Township. Crossroads, at that time was isolated and violence that erupted was due to faction fighting. It had a devastating effect on the local community, particularly women and children.

In order to support the community, a group of professionals offered their expertise, skills and resources. They provided medical care, trauma counselling, accommodation, food and clothing. This group encompassed such a wide range of people working constructively towards a common goal that it was decided to formalise the situation in the hope that this initiative could be maintained – this saw the birth of the Mustadafin Foundation.


To help bring about change and assist Mustadafin Foundation to continue serving the needs of the destitute, deprived and oppressed communities in South Africa, make a difference and donate!

You are able to swipe your debit or credit card at our office or make an EFT payment into our account.

To make a payment by EFT or at a bank please use the details below:

Bank Standard Bank
Branch Athlone
Branch Code 025909
Account Number 072778377
Reference Your name


Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality calls for All Hands on Waste

All residents of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) area are urged to participate in the metros All Hands on Waste Campaign that is currently being rolled out – it is easier than you may think!

With natural resources rapidly depleting and landfills getting fuller by the day, it is up to each of us to do what we can to reverse these effects and ensure a clean, healthy environment for ourselves, and for generations to come.

This is the message of the All Hands on Waste Campaign, an exciting project aimed at giving practical, easy-to-understand waste management information to households in the Metro.  ‘This programme is funded by the Department of Environmental Affairs and implemented by the East London IDZ on behalf of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality.

“Recycling is simple”

“Many people hear the word ‘recycling’ and think it’s a complicated and a time-consuming process,” says BCMM Community Services Portfolio Head Councillor Nomfezeko Ngesi. “But the truth is, recycling is simply the act of disposing of items correctly, once they can no longer be used by the household,” continues cllr Ngesi. “Absolutely everyone can recycle and the smallest effort makes a huge difference.”

“With the implementation and role-out of this programme we fully expect to win the war on waste in Buffalo City,” says Nosi Sikweyiya from BCMM Waste Minimization unit.

Colour-coded System

The All Hands on Waste Campaign will be implementing a colour-coded waste separation system within selected wards during this initial pilot phase, and urge the public to get involved and be proactive about the waste they create. To facilitate this, households will be given three different-coloured bags to keep their waste separate.

Clear Bag – The clear bag should be used for all material that can be recycled – in other words, processed and made into something else. This includes paper, cardboard, glass, metal (cans) and plastic, including plastic shopping bags. The public are to ensure that these materials are rinsed prior to putting these into the clear bags.  All the recyclable materials collected will be transferred to the Oriental Plaza Buyback centre where it will be further processed in the recycling value chain.  The BBC will be opened to the public at a later stage of the project and the public will be informed.

Green Bag – The green bag supplied should be used to dispose of organic waste; anything that decomposes naturally. This includes fruit and vegetable waste, kitchen waste such as tea bags and coffee grinds, and waste from the garden.  All the organic waste will be transferred to the composting facilities that will be located in Mdantsane and the ELIDZ.  The compost produced will be used for organoponics (a process of growing ‘organic’ low carbon food).  The food produced will be sold back to the communities where the waste is being sourced as well as to organic food markets.  The surplus compost will also be sold back to the community for use in their gardens.

Black Bag – The black bags should be used for all other municipal waste that cannot be recycled and won’t decompose naturally. These black bags should be put out on a different day in accordance with the municipal schedule and as detailed in the pamphlet to be handed to the householders targeted in this pilot phase.  According to Cllr Ngesi, separating household waste into three different bags is a habit, which once formed, is incredibly easy to maintain.

“Other ways household members can get involved include keeping their own area and community clean,” adds Cllr Ngesi. “Also by reducing their energy consumption, not littering in any way and ultimately – learning to make less waste in the first place.”

Roadshows will be held in the selected wards, schools as well as door-to-door campaigns.  Students from the Department of Environmental Affairs Youth in Waste Programme will be used to conduct the door-to-door campaigns and will be identifiable with their uniform, a t-shirt branded with the department’s logo and identification badge.  They will be informing the households about the project and also collecting huseholders’ information such as cellphone numbers to be utilised for SMS campaigns about the project.

For more information on the project and to find out collection times for different East London suburbs, members of the public are invited to contact BCM Waste Directorate on (043) 721 1969.

Caption – Students from the Department of Environmental Affairs Youth in Waste Programme will be used to conduct door-to-door campaigns to encourage households to recycle their waste. The participants will be identifiable with their uniform, a t-shirt branded with the department’s logo and identification badge.  They will be informing the households about the project and also collecting householders’ information such as cellphone numbers to be utilised for SMS campaigns about the project.  For more information on the project and to find out collection times for different East London suburbs, members of the public are invited to contact BCM Waste Directorate on (043) 721 1969.

WasteCon 2014: Wired for waste: Value* Grow* Sustain

Africa’s largest waste management conference, WasteCon, hosted by the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) will be taking place from 06 – 10 October 2014 at The Lord Charles in Somerset West.

“This year it is the turn of the Western Cape Branch of the IWMSA, to host WasteCon2014. With the theme ‘Wired for Waste: value * grow * sustain’ – and promises ‘action, action and more action”, according to Dr Suzan Oelofse, President of the IWMSA.

With a multitude of national and international specialists sharing their insights and experience, and showcasing advances in the industry, the multi-day conference is geared to providing real solutions and inspiration for change. Speaking on the theme, Oelofse says that value, growth and sustainability will underpin every event at the conference, as well the various discussions and debates.


“How we value waste as a resource ultimately determines how much time and money we are prepared to invest in its management,” says Oelofse. “We need to realise a shift in focus from the conventional approaches to value-add strategies and affordable management options.


“To ensure progress we need to change as our environment changes,” adds Oelofse. “Through transforming and integrating value-add initiatives, we need to actively engage opportunities that promote growth – these may be entrepreneurial opportunities, job creation, promotion and support of SMME’s and green energy initiatives.”

Entrepreneurs are invited to use the opportunities presented at WasteCon2014 to showcase their skills and expertise and in so doing, become a vital part of the much-needed change.


According to Melani Traut, IWMSA Western Cape Branch Chairperson, sustainability does not only refer to the limitations of our ecosystem, but rather to the economic and social sustainability for which we as human beings are responsible. “To live within the limitations of the biophysical environment, we need to embrace the three types of capital (natural, social and human) to ensure a shift in focus, ensuring growth that is achievable without compromising our future potential.”

Bookings for Exhibition Space Now Open

The exhibition component of the conference gives all industry-related companies and organisations a fantastic opportunity to promote their services, products and ideas.  Interested parties can book space or find out more at

Submission of Abstracts

Wastecon2014 also welcomes the submission of abstracts for original contribution to the field. All submissions will go through a peer-review process and those selected will appear in full form in the abstract book, to be given to attendees at the conference. Online submission is now open at

For more information, please visit or call Gail Smit on (011) 675 3462.

For more information on the IWMSA visit