R65m to keep Giyani clean

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Giyani - Taxi drivers and hawkers in Limpopo have been urged to become the frontline of a R65 million project to curb littering and keep streets clean.

Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, made the appeal during the launch of the greening and cleaning project in Giyani on Monday.

"If you're a taxi driver transporting passengers who litter or you're a hawker, you shouldn't be afraid to tell (your customers) that if they have finished drinking or eating whatever they bought, a dustbin is there. In this way, you'd become an ambassador of the environment in which you live," she said.

She said taxi passengers were among the worse polluters of the environment.
"These people don't litter in town - they wait until the taxi gets to rural areas and then start throwing things through the windows. This is why the taxi drivers should play a role in keeping our environment clean," she said.

Mabudafhasi said the greening and cleaning project in Giyani alone cost R65.5 million, R39 million of which is part of the Buyisela Eco-towns project being implemented by Indalo Yethu. Indalo Yethu is a legacy project by the department to promote greening and eco-friendly practises.

She said the money would be used to install street bins and hire people to clean towns and cut grass along the roads.

"The rest of the money will go into the development of recreational areas within Giyani townships. This includes the establishment of two recreational parks and a Buy-back centre where waste would be processed into other usable products," said Mabudafhasi.

Mabudafhasi said the project was being implemented in ten municipalities nationally, including Giyani and Thohoyandou in Limpopo.

She added that her department was in the process of implementing projects valued at R190.6 million in Limpopo. The projects are related to the provision of jobs for the poor.

"This translates to 1 032 jobs. As a department, we reaffirm our commitment to continue with the mandate to fight poverty also through the greening and cleaning project," said Mabudafhasi.

The deputy minister also visited poor families in Mavalani village outside Giyani, where she planted fruit trees and vegetables as part of celebration of Mandela Monday.

Giyani mayor Pat Hlungwani supported the deputy minister's call for a clean environment, but warned that "no matter how much the government can try to promote cleanness, it's still up to people themselves to monitor where they live."