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​​The City of Johannesburg’s Citizen Relationship & Urban Management (CRUM) Region F, in collaboration with Pikitupand Keep It CKlean (KICK), hosted a community-driven cleanup campaign in Ward 66, Kensington, and Ward 118, Bezuidenhout Valley on Friday, 17 May 2024.

KICK, founded in November 2022, is a community initiative in wards 66 and 118 aimed at tackling illegal dumping and littering. The initiative strives to foster positive, sustainable environments and community upliftment in the Joburg East suburbs. Once-thriving residential and commercial centres in East Johannesburg face decline due to grime, crime, overcrowding, and economic challenges.

The primary objective of the campaign was to mobilise community participation and commitment towards achieving a “Cleaner, Greener, and Safer Environment”. Central to its success is educational outreach, equipping communities with essential knowledge to encourage responsible environmental and waste management practices.

The initiative garnered support from various stakeholders within and beyond the area, including the Dada Waste Management Cooperation, Yeoville Bellevue Ratepayers & Residents Association, local resident associations and street committees, Jeppe Community Police Forum, Touch Massages and Projects, and others, highlighting the importance of collaborative efforts.

The campaign also received endorsement from Member of the Mayoral Committee for 
Development Planning, Councillor Eunice Mgcina, Ward 66 Councillor Carlos Da Rocha, Ward 118 Councillor Neuren Peterson, alongside senior officials from the City and Pikitup.

Nazim Bachu, co-founder of KICK, remarked: “A culture of active and engaged citizenry can be cultivated through partnerships like this. It is through such partnerships that we can win the war against grime, a contributing factor to area degeneration, disinvestment, and flight of capital.”

“The objective is to create a movement of change agents willing to invest their time in halting area degeneration and effecting visible change. Education lies at the centre of it all; an educated citizenry is an empowered citizenry capable of making informed choices,” added Bachu.

During the cleanup activities, MMC Mgcina conducted inspections in shops along Albertina Sisulu Drive, discovering one shop selling expired goods without a valid trading permit. The JMPD’s by-law enforcement unit was contacted, resulting in citations being issued to the shop owner. MMC Mgcina emphasised: “This practice is unacceptable as it jeopardises the health of our community and children, potentially leading to serious health issues. It must cease.”

She urged businesses to ensure they possess valid trading licences and refrain from selling counterfeit or expired food items and other goods. MMC Mgcina expressed gratitude to KICK members, Community Police Forums, other stakeholders, and volunteers from local organisations for their participation in the initiative aimed at maintaining clean neighbourhoods.

“I am looking forward to the intensification of the City’s cleanup campaigns across all seven regions, all of which are plagued by illegal dumping. We need all our residents on board to ensure our communities are kept clean,” she concluded.

Councillor Da Rocha expressed disappointment with the state of the wards, noting Pikitup's efforts but stressing the need for residents to play their part, as it seems the more they clean, the more others dump. He emphasised that community collaboration with city entities is crucial for citywide cleanliness and looked forward to partnering with the MMC and other city entities to ensure decent living conditions for the people of the area.

For more information, visit the City of Johannesburg's website. Join us in our mission to create a cleaner, greener, and safer environment for all.

Written by Dudu Lushaba

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