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Mayor dirties his hands in City cleanup drive


Johannesburg Executive Mayor Councillor Parks Tau rolled up his sleeves and dirtied his hands as he led the City of Johannesburg’s Environmental Day Cleanup campaign in Kaalfontein, Ivory Park, in Region A at the weekend.

The “Team Up To Clean Up Day” initiative – a partnership between Pikitup, the City of Johannesburg’s waste management entity; LeadSA; and The Star newspaper – coincided with the celebration of World Environment Day and came a few days after the hosting on Constitution Hill of the second annual Green Festival by the City of Johannesburg and Constitution Hill.

Executive Mayor Tau was one of the estimated 10 000 people who sacrificed their Saturday to get their hands dirty in aid of the environment.

The Mayor and some of the City’s leaders, including Member of the Mayoral Committee Member for Environment and Infrastructure Services Councillor Matshidiso Mfikoe, led from the front. They got down to pick up litter in a demonstration of the need to keep the environment clean at all times.

“We need to make sure that, as individuals and as a City, we grow a culture of responsibility,” he commented as he proceeded to attack another heap of litter in his path.

The “Team Up To Clean Up Day” not only highlighted the importance of dealing with illegal dumping but also sought to educate communities about the negative effects of littering while seeking to promote general health and the long-term sustainability of the environment. The campaign was also well-supported by other City entities, including the Johannesburg Roads Agency.

Saturday’s cleanup campaign targeted areas such as Ivory Park, Diepsloot and Zandspruit. Pikitup also challenged its depots to each provide additional cleanup services and public information on waste management across the city. According to Pikitup’s Jacky Mashapu, all the waste collected on the day was sent to a sorting facility for processing and recycling.

He said the City hoped these endeavours would create a buzz around environmental sustainability and change mindsets, attitudes and habits of all those who were guilty of littering and illegal dumping. Mashapu said he hoped such campaigns would serve to “educate, encourage, mobilise, empower and inspire environmental camp-fighters”, while simultaneously heightening the awareness of services rolled out by the City and its various entities, some of which were often taken for granted.