Call to keep the environment clean

Deputy Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Makhotso Sotyu has called on all South Africans to do their part in keeping the environment clean and habitable.

“All South Africans have the responsibility to ensure that their environment is clean, green and habitable. Poor waste management poses health and environmental risks. Everyone can do something to attain clean-living spaces.”

The Deputy Minister made this call during a clean-up and greening activity in Bothaville in the Free State on Friday.

The Constitution of South Africa guarantees everyone the right of access to an environment that is not harmful to their health and well-being and to have the natural environment protected for the benefit of current and future generations.

She said the collaborative effort between the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment and Lejweleputswa District and Nala Local Municipalities aims to emphasise the importance of active citizenry involvement in safeguarding natural resources and curbing waste pollution in communities.

“What we are doing here today epitomizes the Good Green Deeds programme, a ground-breaking Presidential initiative that seeks to mobilise all sectors of South Africa to become more environmentally conscious, leading to a deal for nature.”

The Good Green Deeds programme seeks to change people’s attitudes, behaviours towards responsible management of waste, and keeping their neighbourhoods clean, green and safe.

“This is a clarion call to all sectors in society to do their part to contribute to Good Green Deeds. Where there is litter, society is urged to work together to clear litter and rubble that threatens our efforts to build a healthy South Africa.”

She added that illegal dumping and littering are some of the most common problems in the country and affect all municipalities alike.

“The prevalence of ineffective waste management practices is being witnessed in many parts of the country. This trend, unfortunately, affects the well-being of communities, as it has indeed resulted in the mushrooming of pockets of illegal dumping and littering sites.

“More emphasis is required to ensure that citizens are mobilized to take a firm position against such activities in their respective communities.”

She said a departmental team working together with the provincial Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Lejweleputswa District Municipality and Nala Local Municipality, has spent the past few days conducting clean-up and greening activities at different identified spots in this municipality.

In-House Model

In addition to Friday’s clean-up, the Deputy Minister also handed over personal protective equipment (PPE) to the In-House Model participants to heighten the cleaning and greening programme.

“Through the environmental programmes, we have conceptualised the In-House Model which allows the department to implement and manage its projects using its own staff. This model enables the department to employ more Expanded Public works Programme (EPWP) participants due to ‘savings’ on project management fees. It enables the department to be in control and ensures timely payment of wages.”

The In-House model facilitates direct partnership with local government. In so doing, the department pays stipends, Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and Compensation for Occupation Injuries and Diseases (COID) whilst the municipalities provide PPE, tools of trade and commit to pick up collected waste.

“I am pleased to announce that we have recruited 517 participants as part of the In-House Model to address service delivery and waste management in partnership with the Lejweleputswa District Municipality,” she said.

Source: South African Government News Agency