The Reclaimers

An intimate portrayal of the street recyclers saving the city of Johannesburg $47million a year, and how their hopes and dreams were almost crushed by the covid pandemic.

World Premiere
African Premiere
SA Premiere
Screenings – CT
Our Climate, Our FutureBertha IsiFri 30 June 2pm
Ster-Kinekor EYE (Invite Only)V&A SK9Sun 2 July 3pm+ Awards Ceremony
Our Climate, Our FutureV&A SK7Sun 2 July 6pm+ Q&A


Sifiso Khanyile


South Africa



Running Time:

20 min


English, isiZulu

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.

The Ster-Kinekor EYE Shorts Block includes Our Land, The Reclaimers, Jikele Maweni Ndiyahamba, Coach, A Performance on Femininity, Push Comes to Shove – Stories of Obstetric Violence: Bongie’s Story

The Our Climate, Our Future Shorts Block includes I Am This Water, The Reclaimers, Older Than Trees, Forever Home, Jikele Maweni Ndiyahamba