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Cleanup campaign

"It’s up to the community to keep Leonsdale, and all other areas, clean.”

These were the sentiments of ward 26 councillor Franchesca Walker during a cleanup campaign on Monday 4 February.

Cape Town mayor Dan Plato, the City’s Mayco member for urban management Grant Twigg and a few residents of Tehillah Community Collaborative in Elsies River also took part in the cleaning operation.

“This is the second phase of our community cleanup which we did three weeks ago. Our focus today (Monday) was to take away all the graffiti we are seeing on the flat buildings. “If you look at what’s written on these walls ... it’s not a good image for our children. We are aiming to start changing the mindsets of our people because it’s important to be proud of where we’re living. We can start by cleaning up the areas ourselves, and not just blaming the City of Cape Town for whatever goes wrong in the area,” Walker told TygerBurger. She added that dumping in the area is unnecessary: “Our people need to stop dumping. It creates filth and this is an unhealthy environment for our children.”

Magda Kleyn, the CEO and founder of Tehillah Community Collaborative, said the dumping and dirt in the community lead to health problems. “We need to teach our people not to be dumping in the area otherwise we are not going to win the fight against diarrhoea. Not only children are getting diarrhoea, but adults too. We need to work together as a community and take pride.”

Mayor Dan Plato told the newspaper he is not happy with the state of communities around the city. “Dirt is lying on vacant erven and vacant pieces of land and it’s not healthy. We started [here] three weeks ago with the campaign and I’m very disappointed to see how the area looks. People don’t seem to care or worry.

“For the residents it’s a case where the [local] government must clean up behind them every day and that notion, that mindset, must really change. It must come to an end.”

In a statement, the City explained that the cleanup operation followed Plato’s tabling of the adjustment budget last week, which saw an additional R115m being allocated towards cleaning up communities:

– R56m will go towards additional cleaning of informal settlements;
– R14m is allocated for the recruitment of Expanded Public Works Programme workers who will assist with community cleanups;
– R20m is allocated to the Area Cleaning Division in the Solid Waste Management Directorate, specifically for services in the poorer areas; and
– An additional R25m is earmarked for the Recreation and Parks Department which will go towards grass cutting and maintenance across all wards.

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