Focus on cleaning rivers for Mandela Month

Monday, July 11, 2022

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has reiterated its call on all South Africans to actively take part in the Clear Rivers campaign for pollution-free and healthy water sources.

The annual Clear Rivers campaign, which is spearheaded by the department, was initiated in 2016 in the spirit of Mandela Month, a call for people to dedicate 67 of their minutes in the spirit of goodwill to clean up rivers, canals, streams, wetlands and other water sources.

This year’s campaign will be held under the theme, 'South Africa is a water scarce country, clean up and protect water resources'.

Department spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau, said the purpose of the campaign is to encourage active and responsible citizenry across the spectrum where people become participants in promoting a pollution-free environment to improve water quality and ensure water security in the country.

Departmental Spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau, called on community members, businesses, civil society, organisations, churches and everyone to join hands with government and clean up all water streams across the country.

“This campaign is close to our heart as the department because it speaks to many issues that affect water quality and water security. The pollution of water sources is dire, and this scourge needs everyone involved, as government can’t do it alone,” Ratau said.

Ratau emphasised that healthy water sources is paramount, as clean and quality water is not just a basic human right but it is also a catalyst to economic development.

“Communities and livestock, particularly, stand a better chance of an improved quality of life when our rivers are clean and healthy. The agricultural community, the mining sector, and fisheries, amongst others, benefit a great deal from healthy streams.

“The envisaged outcome of this year’s campaign is to ensure environmentally conscious communities, pollution-free rivers, [and] well informed and educated communities,” Ratau said.

The department has urged communities to take responsibility in conserving and protecting rivers, and report the pollution of rivers and freshwater ecosystems to the department’s hotline on 0800 200 200.

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