The Reclaimers spotlights the livelihoods of the city’s waste managers in this sensitively made film. These individuals save the South African government and its residents millions of Rands. They are self-employed and scavenge the city to resell recyclable goods to earn an income. However, during the Covid-19 pandemic, they were left stranded and unrecognised by society as essential workers. Lock-down laws restricted movement for all citizens, directly affecting the “reclaimers” as they were allowed to collect recyclables, but prohibited from selling. The story highlights the relationship between businesses, consumers and the city’s scavengers by spotlighting the life cycle of bottles, plastic and cardboard boxes. Their invaluable service to their society allows them to make a basic living for their families and they remain hopeful about the future.