Plato takes clean-up to Joe Slovo

Mayor Dan Plato led a clean-up in Joe Slovo.

Mayor Dan Plato led a clean-up in Joe Slovo on Friday July 5, but the ward councillor says it’s done little to change the sorry state of the neighbourhood.

Ward 4 councillor Wandisile Ngeyi said Joe Slovo soon went back to the same state it was in before the clean-up.

He said the residents and the City needed to work together to bring meaningful change to the area.

Mr Plato’s visit to Joe Slovo was part of a campaign to educate the public about the importance of keeping their communities clean and reporting illegal dumping.

The City launched the Keep Cape Town Clean campaign in March, inspired by various organisations that do community clean-ups around the city.

“The message of the campaign was to create awareness of clean neighbourhoods and it seems to be taking hold in the minds of residents,” Mr Plato said.

“It is, however, concerning that children are playing near the dirt, which is being dumped illegally, and we want to work with communities to help us keep areas clean and healthy.”

In January, the mayor allocated R115 million for refuse removal, but he said the public had a responsibility not to litter.

John Mthembu, a Joe Slovo resident, said things wouldn’t change as long as people always blamed the government for their problems.

“I’ve lived here for 10 years and one constant thing is that it’s the people that are always dumping. They refuse to use bins of plastic bags to gather their rubbish. And we, onlookers, let them. Yes, the City can do more like have more programmes teaching people about this subject, but the people need to change,” he said.

Mr Ngeyi said there were plans for a recreational hub in the area from recycling programmes and cleaning drives could be run.

“We have five young people from Joe Slovo who attended a course run by the City that teaches people to look after their environment get involved or start their own cleaning operations. Hopefully, these people can run workshops from this hub to teach others about recycling and the effects of illegal dumping,” he said.

Mr Plato said he would revisit the clean-up areas to see if residents had kept them clean.

“Vehicles used in illegal dumping can be confiscated and a release fee of nearly R16 000 will be charged, over-and-above the fines issued for dumping. To report illegal dumping, please call 0860 103 089,” Mr Plato said.