Members of Ikasi Soccer School in partnership with Move One Million organisation and other stakeholders rolled up their sleeves and got their hands dirty as they embarked on a massive community clean-up campaign on Saturday June 19.
Enthusiasm was written all over the faces of the participants as they spruce up H and I sections in Khayelitsha and rubbish bags were dropped off at Hopolang Combined School.
The organisers said they wanted to educate residents and the youth about the effects of pollution while also discouraging illegal dumping.
Ikasi Soccer School founder, Dumisani Ntsodo, believes that such initiatives have the ability to foster a sense of responsibility among residents to keep their communities safe and clean.
He said it was sickening – and bit embarrassing – to live in a dirty neighbourhood surrounded by rubbish.
“Living in an environment that is not safe and not clean makes the lives of the residents awful. This is starting point and we want to make sure that it does not end here.
“We want to create an environment that is safe and clean. We want to spread a positive message of taking care of your environment and make it a better place to live in.
“Our mission is to improve the outdoor of recreational activities in this community of Khayelitsha,” he said.
Mr Ntsodo said as community-based organisation they needed to take matters into their own hands to create a suitable environment to raise children in while shaping their thinking capabilities.
Move One Million founder, Jarette Petzer, said they aimed to work and collaborate with community roleplayers to effect positive change.
He said the country faced a serious challenge, with municipalities unable to keep the streets clean and a lot of finger-pointing going on about who should have done what or not.
Instead of letting things become worse, he said, they should work together to keep their communities clean and form healthy relationships with the government.
Mr Petzer said the organisation had representation in 18 countries and that six similar events were happening around South Africa on the same day.
Simamkele Matiwane said it was important to be part of the initiative because it taught the residents about the importance of keeping their communities clean.