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MMC CLLR ROSLYNN GREEFF'S SPEECH DELIVERED ON 30 AUGUST AT THE LAUNCH OF PIKITUP’S CLEAN-UP DAY CAMPAIGN
If we imagine a clean city, we might imagine an aesthetically attractive environment with well maintained buildings and beautiful parks. We might also imagine a city that is litter-free, where the water is clean, the air fresh, the transport system effective, the laws and by-laws enforced and the community responsible.
The benefits of such a city include healthy citizens and a productive economy, flourishing business hubs – and ultimately a city that is highly attractive to investors and tourists.
For Pikitup specifically, a clean city is a litter-free city where waste removal services are effective, bins are not overflowing and waste is not dumped illegally, amongst others. In addition to an effective infrastructure, realising a clean city vision requires community involvement and law abiding citizens with a deep love for their city and its wellbeing.
That’s why today I urge all citizens to join hands with Pikitup to make Johannesburg a world class clean African city. Clean-up Day on 17 September is just one day in the year that ordinary citizens can show their love for the city by getting involved in a massive clean-up operation with Pikitup.
This year’s Clean-up Day coincides with National and International Clean Up Week on the International Environmental calendar and in Johannesburg 33 collection points have been set up in close proximity to the regional depots to get the public involved on the day.
Importantly, one of Pikitup’s key deliverables for Johannesburg’s Integrated Development Plan is to “ensure the cleanliness of the City through education, awareness and by-law enforcement”. Clean-up Day is one of the ways it is doing this. The day also forms part of Pikitup’s broader Clean City Campaign, which was initiated in 2009.
Clean-up Day and the Clean City Campaign also fall under the auspices of Pikitup’s accelerated 90-Day service delivery intervention, which was formulated by the Executive Mayor to improve customer confidence in the services provided by the City of Johannesburg and create a positive image of the City.
Another important element of this year’s Clean City Campaign is to highlight illegal dumping. This is a massive problem in the city and manifests itself in the form of littering by residents, excessive numbers of refuse bags regularly being placed in the road reserve by residents and businesses and heaps of waste being dumped on street corners and in open spaces. Litter is also commonly found in areas of high pedestrian traffic and taxi ranks.
Approximately 81 300 tons of litter is collected and disposed of by Pikitup annually. It is further estimated that 198 000 tons of general waste is dumped illegally every year in road reserves and open spaces. The annual cost for Pikitup to remove illegally dumped waste and litter from the streets of Johannesburg runs into hundreds of millions every year.
To put it in perspective – it costs R400 to dispose of 1 ton of waste that has been put into a receptacle as opposed to R4000 to dispose of 1 ton of waste that has been illegally dumped.
Pikitup has been mandated by the City to provide sustainable waste management service solutions to address the illegal dumping challenge. However, Pikitup does not have the resources to address this problem by reactively removing illegally dumped waste from open spaces and continually picking up litter from the streets.
This is why it has adopted a proactive approach to the challenge, which includes educating the citizens of Johannesburg on the importance of keeping their communities clean. An important component of the campaign will be to educate communities on the impact of littering and illegal dumping on Pikitup’s ability to provide an effective and efficient waste management service to all communities. It will also address the negative impact these unlawful practices have on the environment.
This dovetails perfectly with the wonderful concept of “shanyel’ amabala”, which refers to “sweeping one’ own yard”. Pikitup wants the citizens of Johannesburg to embrace the idea of “shanyel’ amabala” by keeping their own spaces clean. And then it wants them to extend this concept more broadly by making a concerted effort to keep their pavements, roads and broader communities clean.
While appealing to the public’s good will is one thing, there are still going to be people who persist in dumping illegally. In this respect, Pikitup has concluded a Service Level Agreement (SLA) and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Johannesburg Municipal Police Department. The SLA and MOU provides for 34 dedicated police officers to enforce the Waste Management By-laws – especially as they relate to illegal dumping and littering.
The proposed Illegal Dumping Programme has been designed to address many of the issues referred to above. The programme has the ability to create pride in communities, educate communities through marketing and advertising, introduce penalties for people and companies transgressing the By-laws, mobilise the general public, change mind sets and attitudes, introducing community service fines, and upgrading Pikitup facilities.
To ensure sustainability of the programme, Pikitup has partnered with City Parks, which will take over all cleaned up dump sites as part of a major rehabilitation process.
The working relationships with JMPD and City Parks draws on the resources and capacity of each body towards achieving clearly defined goals. Underpinning this is the recognition that these entities are statutory organisations bound by the constitutional principles of co-operative governance and mandated to contribute towards the improvement, sustenance and delivery of basic waste management services in the city.
All these initiatives need to be linked to the city’s Growth Development Strategy 2040 outreach programme, which envisions Johannesburg as a city of opportunity where the benefits of balanced economic growth will be shared in a way that enables all residents to gain access to the ladder of prosperity and where the poor, vulnerable and excluded will be supported out of poverty to realise upward social mobility.