Along with local volunteers, Deputy Environmental Affairs Minister Barbara Thomson - in her green work suit and wearing gloves - spent her Friday morning picking up litter along the Lotus River canal in Gugulethu.
The clean-up was part of the launch of the Gugulethu Environmental Awareness and Sustainable Initiative.
Shortly after joining the large group of volunteers in the clean-up operation that saw young people from the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and Working on Fire (WoF) picking up litter, the Deputy Minister said launch of the initiative was a great tribute to the late Minister Edna Molewa.
Molewa, who died in September last year after falling ill, had spearheaded the initiative from its early stages ahead of it being launched.
“We are actually coming to launch a programme which was initiated by our late Minister. So in honour of her [memory], this is what we are going to do today,” she said.
The Gugulethu Environmental Awareness and Sustainable Initiative is in line with the ideals of the Good Green Deeds campaign which was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week. The aim of the campaign is to also promote and encourage a clean, green and healthy environment in communities.
In an interview with SAnews Thomson said while she, together with the volunteers, cannot possibly make a difference in one day, the clean-up would hopefully raise awareness from other citizens to take some time to clean up litter and debris in the areas where they live.
Thomson said she works with another group of volunteers on weekends – after lunch on Saturdays and after church on Sundays - in the area where she resides where they dedicate a few hours to pick up litter.
“Today we can only do so much. This is just a symbol for us to remind you that this has to be done… we can only do so much within a short space of time,” she said.
Addressing residents at an official launch at the Gugulethu Indoor Sports Complex later on, Thomson said the initiative was important as it would go a long way to ensure that the environment is clean and not harmful to the health and well-being of residents. – SAnews.gov.za