By ANELE MJEKULA
A group of energetic stakeholders joined hands to launch a successful clean-up campaign in Makhanda on Friday, 23 April.
The clean-up marked the start of a strategic partnership between a number of local stakeholders who are determined to not just clean hotspot areas, but to make a long-lasting impact on the town’s appearance. Makhanda was once one of the cleanest towns in the province. This is something that the stakeholders draw huge inspiration from as they work towards their goal of ensuring that the town is once again known as one of the cleanest in the province.
Working together in this project are Makana Local Municipality, the King Lobengula Foundation, the Grahamstown Foundation, CWP, SANCO, Mantis Group, Makana Residents’ Association and the Grahamstown Business Forum.
The Municipality put its full weight behind this important initiative. The Executive Mayor Councillor Mzukisi Mpahlwa, Community and Public Safety Portfolio Chairperson Councillor Phumla Matyumza, and Director Kelello Makgoka all got their hands dirty while working side by side with the rest of the team.
Speaking at the event, the Mayor said he wanted to thank all the stakeholders from the bottom of his heart. “When I started as Mayor of this Municipality I said our town is dirty. You remember I met with you and asked how we could work with one another. I’m happy now because I can see this happening in front of my eyes.”
The Mayor appealed to the Director to facilitate similar campaigns going forward to ensure a visible impact.
“I really wish we can do this every Friday going forward, just for two hours,” he said.
Sizwe Mda of the King Lobengula Foundation has lined up the following core activities going forward:
- Community led beautification and greening projects that will see trees planted and public art installed in identified spaces.
- Municipal-enabled clean-up projects and community led projects that will collect and recycle waste, clear water courses and maintain public spaces across the City on a regular basis.
- A community led fun run and walk on Heritage Day (24 September 2021) which will encourage the citizens of Makhanda to explore their City and its heritage. In 2022, a half marathon or marathon will be added to the programme, creating opportunities for runners across the province and the country to visit Makhanda.
Mda says in 2021 they will be starting their programme with a range of activities across the City.
The focus will be on:
- Weekly clean-ups on Fridays in designated areas across the City led by the municipality and involving all stakeholders.
- A greening and public art project at the eastern gateway to the City of Makhanda, particularly the road from Fort Beaufort to Makhanda and Mount Zion to the central business district.
- A 5km and 10km fun walk and run on Heritage Day 24 September 2021.
Mda said Makhanda was once an award winning “clean city” and their aim is to once again reach those heights. The Mount Zion project, which since 2018 has seen significant community investment in regular clean-up projects and the installation of a large public art piece, a map of Africa laid out in stones that celebrates peace and unity in Africa is a blueprint for future activities.
Inspiration had also been taken from cities in Rwanda and Uganda who have created sustainable and ongoing cleaning and greening initiatives, led by the highest office in the land.
The King Lobengula Foundation donated trees to be planted in the cleaned-up areas.
- Anele Mjekula is the Communications Officer at Makana Municipality.