Since the second week of June 2017, approximately 600 tonnes of refuse were cleared off the streets, empty plots and parks of the Kouga Municipality in Jeffreys Bay. Mayor, Elza van Lingen, welcomed the results as part of her launch of a large-scale intervention in the region. In addition to local service departments, more than 100 residents joined in to lend a hand.
Van Lingen elaborated that illegal dumping sites were also addressed and cleared of items which included broken appliances, rubble and scrap metal, among other domestic refuse. For immediate disposal, the refuse was transported to the regional waste site in the town of Humansdorp. Recycling in the area is set to be a core focus for the new municipality, which aims at continuing to create service-oriented employment opportunities to address basic shortfalls for affected communities.
Despite junk status looming over the nation’s economy, van Lingen and her associates are determined to keep pollution and dumping at bay:
“A clean area improves everyone’s quality of life and makes for happier and healthier communities. It also helps to create job opportunities because a clean area is more attractive to tourists and creates a good impression on potential investors.”
Evidently off to a roaring success, the clean-up operation has more in store for Eastern Cape residents. As the backlog of maintenance is addressed, plans are also being rolled out to enforce existing laws related to illegal dumping, pollution and littering. Further to this, van Lingen mentioned that it would be just as critical for parents to educate and encourage children to conserve the environment.