Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba is tackling solid waste with an ongoing campaign to make the metro the cleanest in the world. Since his appointment as mayor, he has led numerous public clean-ups in the city centre and surrounding suburbs.
Under Mashaba’s leadership, the City of Johannesburg Municipality has launched the A Re Sebetseng campaign – a series of community blitz clean-ups where citizens gather to pick up litter, sweep the sidewalks and clear rubbish from the city’s waterways.
Continued city clean-ups
On Sunday, 18 March 2018, many countries around the world recognised Global Recycling Day, including South Africa. A dedicated team of council members, government employees, waste workers and citizens from Johannesburg set to work on the streets of the city. They gathered recyclable materials and sent the collections to two local waste management providers.
The A Re Sebetseng campaign has become something of a monthly event, taking place on the third Wednesday of every month. Participants and volunteers from all seven of the city’s regions spend two hours collecting waste and sweeping the streets.
Involvement from other organisations
A Re Sebetseng has inspired some of Joburg’s public and private organisations to lend a hand as well. Johannesburg City Park and Zoo (JCPZ) has teamed up with local municipal departments to clean up the city’s public parks and open spaces.
Among these spaces were the Avalon Cemetery and the Chiawelo Koppie, where volunteers tidied up the locations at the end of January 2018. Invasive species of plants were removed and overgrown patches of grass were cut so as to discourage criminal activities in the concealed spaces. Trees were pruned and illegal dumping waste was removed.
The City of Johannesburg has identified several areas of concern which will be tackled over the coming year to transform them into livable and usable spaces. Joining the JCPZ campaigns are the Metro Police Department, Working with Water, some of the city’s waste management providers and members of the public.
These continued efforts and campaigns not only make Johannesburg a cleaner, more environmentally-friendly city, but they also encourage community involvement, activism and bonding. Mashaba’s hopes to make Johannesburg the cleanest city in the world may be a bit ambitious, but not unrealistic.
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