Izak Hartzer and Lukas Moruping, two members of the local community near the Koffiefontein mine, have taken the initiative to recycle old wood discarded by the mine in a very special way, by manufacturing high quality and unique wooden furniture.
Izak, known by locals as “Oom Sakkie” (Uncle Sakkie), and his business partner Lukas started working together about five years ago and today their venture is thriving and their furniture distributed as far as Johannesburg and Pretoria. Lukas admits that Izak taught him everything that he knows and loves about wood and Izak just smilingly comments that Lukas is a hard worker.
About a year ago Ester van der Westhuizen-Coetzer, the Environmental Specialist at Koffiefontein, stumbled across examples of the duo’s handwork at a local coffee shop where it was on display for tourists passing through the town. After contacting Izak she realised that they could make use of all the wood that the mine would otherwise discard as waste.
The mine decided to assimilate the work of the carpenters into their recycling project and have since been offering used wood to Izak and Lukas for their business. Izak and Lukas remove wood from the waste yard at Koffiefontein on a monthly basis and use it to manufacture their exclusive and unique furniture, which can be specially commissioned.
This rewarding collaboration with the local community proves that recycling can in some cases transform waste into beautiful pieces of art.