Campaign Concept Statement
The Gauteng Speakers’ Forum resolved at its strategic planning session in May 2012 to mount joint campaigns on issues of public interest in the province. This is with the view of profiling the work of the Speakers as the custodians of the interests of residents of Gauteng. The first joint campaign of the Gauteng Speakers Forum is focused on mobilising for a change in mind-set amongst the people of Gauteng on the matter of sustainable environment, particular the cleaning of the province. In this regard the Gauteng Speakers’ Forum will launch a campaign called “Making Gauteng a Clean Place to live in”.
The Speaker of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature announced during the presentation of the budget of the Legislature that the campaign mentioned above will seek collaboration with all sectors of Society, including the Premier of the Province, the MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, The Mayors of Local Government Municipalities, Business sector, Civil Society Organisations, the Media and most importantly the people of Gauteng.
The mooted cleaning campaign would serve to create a province wide mind-set amongst the people of Gauteng on taking responsibility for their environment, in particular to make it everyone’s responsibility to keep our surroundings clean.
Gauteng’s State of Cleanliness at a Glance
The current environmental state of some of the areas in Gauteng requires urgent integrated approach to cleaning of the streets, parks, taxi ranks, informal settlements and many more. Gauteng is the largest waste producer in South Africa and it produces more than 5.7 million tons of waste per/year. The average amount of waste generated in Johannesburg is about 1.2 kg per person per day (the Gauteng city-region review 2011 report).
The increased waste in Gauteng is influenced by increasing urbanisation, increasing commercial and industrial development. Some of the challenges relate to waste in the province are as follows, there is limited waste collection in poor areas which result in littering and illegal dumping; poor enforcement of national, provincial and municipal laws and regulations; there is a lack of encouragement and awareness of waste avoidance, minimisation and recycling, the rising of petrol and diesel also leads to the mushrooming of illegal dumping.
In 2002, GDARD initiated Bontle Ke Botho Clean and Green Campaign (BkB), which is a mass mobilisation Environmental Education project. The key objectives of BkB are to create awareness, promote sustainable living practices and forge mutually beneficial partnerships to advance environmental work in the province. In 2008, The Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) developed a General Waste Minimisation Plans for Gauteng. In 2010/11 financial year GDARD finalised the Gauteng Waste Collection Standards, part of a suite of waste management plans to support good practice and recycling in communities, these plans were approved by EXCO for implementation. The province has excellent plans on papers but there are challenges on how to implement them.
There are areas where it is evident that GDARD and some municipalities are putting efforts to implement the above mentioned plans, for an example, Thembisa is the focus of the provincial government’s Clean and Green campaign however there are spots that are still very dirty. It is important to note that illegal dumping in some parts of the province such as Alexandra, Hamanskraal and many more has created serious problems that have impacted negatively on the environment. Juskei and Piennars rivers are polluted and drainage systems are blocked in some parts of townships.
Critical Review of Current Provincial and National Programmes
Clean and Green Campaign
The provincial Clean and Green Campaign which is led by GDARD focuses on clean up of the open spaces, streams, transit areas; rehabilitation of illegal dump sites and tree planting. It is a common knowledge that once the Department together with other stakeholders complete the cleanup campaign in any given area around the province, the situation revert. The main challenge amongst others is the perception amongst communities that government has a responsibility of ensuring that towns remain clean. Volunteers expect government to give them stipend once they start cleaning their surroundings and as a result are reluctant to participate if there is nothing to benefit in terms of monetary value.
The other limitation is the lack of synergy between all spheres of government and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s). The participation of companies and individuals who owns residential apartment is also found to be wanting and some of these buildings do not have sufficient means of handling any unwanted materials that residents would want to get rid of. Some of the municipalities cite resources as the cause of the failure to address issues of cleanness.
The BkB competition encourages communities, schools and municipalities to ensure that the areas in which they stay is clean. One of the challenges on BkB is that some of the participants get discouraged if they don’t win or get nominated. Since the inception of this competition there are number of communities who won and one would expect to see many organized community groups that do clean ups on a regular basis but this is not the case.
National Clean Up week
All municipalities across the province participate in the National Clean up week campaign but the involvement of private business and community organization including youth should be strengthened if government wants to achieve its objective. This campaign comes once in a year and like most of the programmes that are driven by government, they cleaning discontinues after that.
The campaign like this should be properly be planned and ideas be shared by various role players before the actual cleaning is done. There might be reasons behind lack of continuous participation by various stakeholders which some of them can be addressed before the launch of this campaign. It is very difficult to suggest that the current campaigns have been successful but it is fair to indicate that there are areas where government led campaign seem to have change environment of certain sections of our community, e.g. some of the illegal dump sites have been converted into mini parks.
More work needs to be done on the education and awareness part to instill sense of cleanses in the minds of our communities.
Aims and Objectives on making Gauteng a Cleaner Place to Live
– Educate the people of Gauteng on the importance of sustainable clean environment
– Empower people of Gauteng to take responsibility for sustaining clean environment
– Mobilize all sectors of society in an all – embracing effort to work together in keeping Gauteng a clean place
– Encourage communities to embark on sustainable environmental action projects geared towards managing waste or avoiding littering at all cost – recycling, reusing, etc.
– Create working partnerships between the people of Gauteng, the Government, civil society organizations and business community on sustaining clean environment
– Leverage on existing clean environment campaigns to create a province wide focus on sustainable environment
Benefit and Opportunities of the Campaign
– The project will raise community awareness and create social cohesion on issues of environment management
– The project is an opportunity for Gauteng Province to bring together all stakeholders on environment management at all levels to collaborate and bring their resources, experiences, authority, etc. together in the interest of sustainable environment management
– The project will harness a mind-set change and usher in an enhanced culture of cleanliness amongst communities and people of Gauteng
– The campaign will make every resident of Gauteng to make it their business to keep their surroundings clean
Key intervention areas of the campaign
– Production of public education material with a view of empowering people to take responsibility for their environment
– Targeted cleaning in certain areas of the province, e.g.; taxi ranks
– Community empowerment programmes for sustainable clean environment
– Declaration of Annual provincial week of cleaning wherein all people of the province will set aside time to participate in cleaning activities
Timelines for the Campaign Launch
It is expected that the Gauteng Speaker’s Forum will launch the campaign during the month of June 2013 in order to coincide and leverage on the International Environment Day.
Key Campaign Activities
– Mobilize for stakeholder buy in and commitments across all sectors
– Identify spots in Gauteng to target for cleaning
– Develop public education material
– Launch media campaign