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Campaign to get city’s sparkle back

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A historical backlog of waste services for especially urban informal areas, tribal areas and rural formal areas exacerbated the littering problem

KIMBERLEY is set to get its sparkle back after the Northern Cape MEC for Environment and Nature Conservation, Nomandla Bloem, launched the provincial “clean-up campaign” in the city yesterday, where she called on residents to take responsibility for keeping their neighbourhoods clean.

Bloem said that yesterday’s launch was “one of many” clean-up campaigns that would be launched throughout the Province, inspired by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s launch of the Good Green Deeds programme earlier this year, as well as the call by Northern Cape Premier Zamani Saul to start with the cleaning of Kimberley and encouraging people not to litter.

“A clean environment can attract investors to our city. People like to put their money in an area that is clean. Not only can we attract investors but tourists also like to visit clean cities. Today, we are taking the first step to take Kimberley back to the City that Sparkles once more,” Bloem said.

She also quoted Saul who said the following during his inaugural State of the Province address: “I cannot allow the continuing degeneration and deterioration of Kimberley, the capital of our Province. Kimberley must grow and develop and be a trigger for growth for the whole Province. So, we must develop Kimberley to serve as an epicentre of a modern, growing and successful Province. This all starts with cleaning our city and encouraging our people not to litter,” Saul said.

Bloem stated that a historical backlog of waste services for especially urban informal areas, tribal areas and rural formal areas exacerbated the littering problem.

“The waste services access remains highly skewed in favour of more affluent and urban communities. Inadequate waste services lead to unpleasant living conditions and a polluted, unhealthy environment,” Bloem said.

She added that about 75% of South Africa’s waste was being landfilled and minimal waste was managed through the 4Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle and recover).

“The waste management service that mainly opts for landfill disposal goes against circular economy and the principle of cradle-to-cradle. Waste generation is increasing with population growth and it is critical to reconsider production and consumption patterns of raw materials,” Bloem said.

“It is quite evident that littering and illegal dumping are some of the most common problems in our Province. Ineffective waste management practices can affect the well-being of the affected communities and this can be further exacerbated by the increase in illegal dumping and littering.

“We should continue with awareness raising to ensure that people are aware of the impact of waste on their health, well-being and the environment.

“What kind of legacy do we want to leave for our children, grandchildren and loved ones? Becoming environmentally conscious starts with one small action, and one small action can go on to inspire a global change.

“Northern Cape citizens have to work together to restore and maintain Mother Nature’s majesty. Therefore, this programme is the perfect basis to fight environmental degradation and ensure that our country is free from litter and illegal dumps.

“The main purpose is to change people’s attitudes and behaviour towards waste and its management, as well as to begin taking charge and responsibility of keeping their neighbourhood clean. It has become evident that while many current awareness initiatives lead to visually cleaner areas in the short term, they do not encourage sustainable practices that reduce littering and illegal dumping in the long run and this programme is aimed at closing that missing gap.

“More emphasis is required in ensuring that the citizens now take a stand against the litter in their neighbourhoods and start to clean up their areas,” Bloem concluded.