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JRA's Letsema brings back spark to Midrand CBD

The Midrand Central Business District (CBD) in the City of Johannesburg’s Region A is cleaner and neater than it was more than a week ago thanks to five days of intensive cleaning and service delivery under the Johannesburg Roads Agency-led Letsema programme.

The annual clean-up campaign, which began on Monday October 3 and ended on Friday October 7, saw City employees from five entities and one department combing swathes of the CBD, cleaning the streets, removing litter and debris, clearing blocked drains and repainting road markings.

The other participating entities and department were Johannesburg Water, Pikitup, Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD), City Power and the Department of Environmental Health.

Regional Director Abigail Ndlovu said a lot of work had gone into making this year’s Letsema (working together) a success. She said the initiative had achieved “maximum impact”. “We can’t do this on our own; we need residents to join in and play an active part,” said Ndlovu.

She said whatever the residents could do to keep the Midrand CBD clean would be welcomed. Ndlovu urged residents to use bins provided in strategic places in the CBD to dispose of their litter instead of throwing it from moving taxis.

“There is still a lot that needs to be done in as far as educating people to be conscious of their environment and to look after it is concerned,” said Ndlovu. She said JRA had put up new road markings, while JMPD would ensure that taxi drivers adhered to the rules of the road.

“Many manhole covers were replaced with those made of plastic because those made of steel are stolen and sold to unscrupulous scrap metal dealers. We’re happy with the work that has been done and this is how we would like it to be so that we can attract visitors and business opportunities to the CBD,” said Ndlovu.

Street vendor Thandekile Mnisi remarked that the City had done well during the clean-up campaign. “We also need to make sure we keep our town clean. When there’s litter around your stand people won’t buy from you,” she said.

Pauline Mahlangu, the Chairperson of the Midrand chapter of the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said it was “great” to see members getting involved in the clean-up. “We need to encourage people to look after their businesses and surroundings to help us attract investors,” said Mahlangu.​