City of Cape Town mayor Dan Plato rolled up his sleeves and got his hands dirty as he joined municipal workers in sprucing up the streets of Town Two.
This stop in Khayelitsha on Thursday March 5 is part of the mayor’s drive to tackle illegal dumping and grime. Through these initiatives, Mr Plato aims to encourage communities, schools and businesses to clean up where they work – and live and play – by collecting litter while disposing of it properly.
He told residents that they should take ownership of their environment and communities. He added that while the City’s solid waste management department and Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers worked hard to ensure high levels of cleanliness and clean streets, it was also the responsibility of residents to throw their trash in bins and not illegally dump waste on the side of the road or in open spaces.
Talking about the mission of this clean-up campaign, he said he wanted it to be a team effort while creating pride within the communities to look after the places they live in. “I am glad to see that the importance of this message continues to spread and will lead to a sustained change in the way residents dispose of their refuse. I hope communities which have been cleaned up through this campaign understand the value and take pride in keeping their neighbourhoods neat and spruced up. I truly believe that it is in community’s interest to keep their area clean and tidy. Litter and illegal dumping lead to diseases that could have easily been avoided if the community were serious about keeping their areas clean,” he said.
Mr Plato said it was important that people learn the importance of getting involved in campaigns like these and advocate for a clean environment in their communities. He believes that if the community of Khayelitsha could rally behind these campaigns the area would be much better place to live in.
He called on residents to instil this culture in their children so that they grow up knowing that it is absolutely wrong to litter anywhere
Resident Nolubabalo Meyi, said she hopes the mayor expands this campaign to the informal settlements and ensures that rubbish bins were provided.
Ms Meyi said there were more pressing issues such creating job opportunities and speeding up service delivery instead of having time to play around.
She said as much as it is important to preach the importance of cleaning, it was critical not to shift focus on key issues.
She said residents living in formal areas were quite clued up about illegal dumping and have their dustbins but it was a different scenario for people living in informal settlements as they have to contend with massive issues.
Another resident, Buyisile Maliwa said he sees this as a waste of time for the mayor as he does this for just an hour and leaves. He said if he was serious about this campaign he should at least spend a day doing the clean-up together with the residents.