There was a hive of activity in Zandspruit-an informal settlement situated in the South-west of Johannesburg where Public Service and Administration Deputy Minister, Dr Chana-Pilane Majake, led a successful clean-up campaign on Monday 13 June 2022.
The campaign follows complaints by members of the community more than a week ago, during the Deputy Minister’s outreach Imbizo programme held in that locality, that the area was unbearably dirty.
During her visit, the Deputy Minister noticed that illicit dumping in the informal settlement is posing a health hazard to residents, which necessitated the return a week later leading to the massive clean-up campaign.
Speaking to The Public Servant while cleaning near the Zandspruit shopping centre, the Deputy Minister Pilane-Majake said: “As DPSA, our concern is service delivery and this is why our interest in on what is happening at service delivery points.
“We have identified a number of challenges including the high level of crime, the fact that the community does not have enough health facility and enough schools.
“When the learners have to go to higher classes, some of the students go to the adjacent Cosmo City because there are no high schools in the area. We also noted the general level of high unemployment and poverty.”
In 2019 during the unveiling of the Good Green Deeds programme, President Cyril Ramaphosa called on business, labour and civil society to perform just one “Good Green Deed” a day, be it recycling waste or cleaning up the environment in communities.
The Deputy Minister emphasised the importance of people in the area refraining from littering and start throwing their rubbish in designated waste bins.
She said one way to preserve the informal settlement, will be to start practicing environmentally friendly habits.
Dr Pilane-Majake was joined at the cleanup campaign by local ward councillor, David Tebogo Mangena; officials from the Gauteng Departments of Environmental Affairs; and Agriculture as well as employees from the integrated waste management service provider to the City of Joburg, Pikitup.
She also emphasised that while the campaign is aimed at promoting accountability government’s efforts must always be leveraged by improving community participation in order to create a difference to people’s lives.