As part of Mandela Day, the Department of Water and Sanitation, together with its partners, has spearheaded a successful cleaning of Klip River in Orlando West in Soweto.
The clean-up was held under the banner of the Clear Rivers campaign, an annual departmental initiative which encourages individuals, businesses and civil society organisations to roll up their sleeves and be part of the cleaning of water resources such as rivers, streams and wetlands.
The City of Johannesburg, Pickitup, City Parks, Emaplatini, Coca Cocal, Lixil and the Green Development Foundation were among the organisations who joined the department during the clean-up.
City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba led a team that removed solid waste from the river and collected waste from the landfill site.
Mashaba has committed to work with the Department of Water and Sanitation to ensure that awareness is raised about the dangers of waste.
Simon Maphangula, responsible for Water Sector Support in the Gauteng region, said people should be cautious and ensure that water resources are protected at all times to minimise government expenditure incurred by cleaning water.
This campaign is a catalyst for change and community members should be the change they want to see in their environment. It is the responsibility of every person to ensure that the environment is clean because the waste that people throw away ends up filling our rivers and streams, in turn contaminating our systems.
Government has to spend a lot of money purifying the contaminated water due to this unfortunate behaviour that needs to be changed as a matter of urgency. Rivers and all water resources are key assets to the nation. Therefore, we all have the responsibility to ensure that water in our rivers is clean at all times, Maphangula said.
The clean-up in Soweto was one of the many activities held throughout the country.
The campaign is associated with the spirit of volunteerism, which is promoted during Mandela Month to clean rivers, streams and wetlands.
Source: South African Government News Agency