Ten volunteers from an Nyanga community group rolled up their sleeves to tackle illegal dumping in the area on Monday.
Usindiso Community Development educates Nyanga residents about the importance of looking after their community and making it a pleasant place to live, says Sindiswa Godwana, who founded the organisation in 2020.
Clean-up campaigns show residents the hazards of illegal dumping and encourage them to care for the environment, she says.
The problem continues to plague many townships and yet too few residents do anything about it, she says.
The rubbish dumped around unfinished houses in the Mau-Mau area creates a haven for crime, she says.
She expects it will take her and her volunteers about a month to clean up around the houses, but she says they are determined to complete the task.
“We are not doing this because we do not have anything important to do, but we care about our communities. We want to make our areas a better place to live in. We want to teach the younger generation about the importance of looking after their community.“
I hope that these ladies and men can get jobs through their volunteerism, and I have realised that the municipality cannot do it alone in terms of making our areas a better place. I cook for our volunteers when we do this campaign.”
She says it is not the first time they have done clean-ups, and it is disheartening when they clean an area only to find residents still dumping there.
Once they have cleaned up around the houses, they will move to another dumping hot spot in Zwelitsha, she says.
The organisation also runs a programme for senior citizens every Wednesday in Nyanga, teaching the seniors beadwork and knitting to help them supplement their pensions.
A volunteer, Cikizwa Mncama, says she joined the organisation because it was responding to the needs of the community and bringing change, and she wanted to be part of that.
She hopes the organisation can raise funds to pay the volunteers a stipend.
Another volunteer, Thamsanqa Mafongoshi, says he hopes residents can learn the importance of keeping their streets clean, and he urged the wider community to join them in their efforts.