Clean-up campaign sweeps through Joe Slovo

The WeLoveU foundation, councillors and City cleaners painted Joe Slovo blue during their clean-up campaign at the weekend.

Hundreds of volunteers from the community and the International WeLoveU Foundation joined councillors and City cleaners on Sunday to clean up parts of Joe Slovo.

Volunteers clad in WeLoveU’s blue T-shirts came from all over the city and met at the Joe Slovo Sports and Recreation Centre in Freedom Way for the clean-up.

WeLoveU is a non-profit organisation with headquarters in South Korea.

Chanting “We love you! We love you!” the volunteers worked their way through Freedom Way and the open fields there; Democracy Way; Mercury, Venus and Mars roads; and Democracy Park.

The theme for the day was love in clean communities.

Addressing the crowd before they took to the streets, mayoral committee member for urban waste management Grant Twigg said there could be no love in communities that were dirty.

“We all appreciate the time we can spend in cleaning up. Sharing love should be within a clean environment. One of the mayor’s key priorities is to clean Cape Town up and keep it clean. It’s not only the responsibility of the City’s cleaning staff to clean up. It is every person’s responsibility to clean-up, regardless where you are,” Mr Twigg said.

It was important for residents to educate themselves and their children about the importance of cleaning up. “Sometimes people say, ‘The dirt is not mine.’ But it affects you.

“We’ve recently been chosen as the third best City in the world. What that means is that if we keep Cape Town clean, we’re going to become number one. But third is okay for us for now.”

A clean city drew more tourists and investment, he said.

Mr Twigg told Tabletalk that the City would work with WeLoveU on future clean-ups.

Asked whether the mayor’s clean-up campaign was making a difference, Mr Twigg said: “If you look at what’s happening in the different areas, there are a lot of clean-ups happening. We’re not where we want to be, but people are coming on board.”

Speaking to the crowd, Ward 4 councillor Anthony Benadie said: “I hope this initiative will also raise awareness that littering and dumping are all over this community. We need to work together towards a culture of keeping our communities clean.”

Mr Benadie said the City had sent garbage trucks to assist the volunteers.

Ezra Baek, who runs WeLoveU’s Cape Town office, said he was grateful that the volunteers had come out in their numbers to support their initiative.

Mr Benadie’s clerk, Liete van der Eems, who doubles as the secretary for the MIlnerton Central Ratepayers’ Association, said: “We hope that this campaign will be a catalyst for many more clean-ups in the future. Illegal dumping and littering is a big concern in Joe Slovo and Phoenix.”

Volunteers gathered at the Joe Slovo Sports and Recreation Centre to listen to councillors speak ahead of the clean-up.
Ward 4 councillor Anthony Benadie and volunteer Viwe Momoti cleaning up in Joe Slovo.