Unemployed volunteers dirty their hands to keep Tamboville clean

2012-05-29 00:00

TIRED of walking over litter every morning and afternoon, 10 unemployed Tamboville residents decided to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty to ensure a clean neighbourhood.

The group, made up of young and old people, call themselves the Buza Qala Uzonde (Ask Before You Hate) Service Company.

They are responsible for keeping the roads in Tamboville’s Notice Sector section, near Eastwood, spotlessly clean.

The dedicated group picks up litter and broken bottles, and keeps the verges trimmed.

“We discussed this last year in February that there was a need to keep our streets clean,” said group leader Bongiwe Bara (48). “That is how the initiative was born.”

By August they were able to implement the idea, she said.

“We work from 7 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday. We know that cleanliness is key to having a healthier environment and that is why we decided to do this for our community.”

Bara said they were sitting doing nothing and were now happy to be contributing towards keeping their surroundings clean — even though they were not getting paid.

Bara said being unemployed made it difficult for the group to get the right tools for their work.

In the meantime, they are using tools given to them by the Msunduzi Municipality.

She said their aim was to beautify their area and they hoped that one day their service could benefit the whole city.

“When we started, taxis did not even drive into our section because of the level of filth.

“[The litter] was thrown by our community members … now we do get [taxis] as the of level cleanliness has improved drastically,” said Bara.

She added that the group was appealing for uniforms in which to work.

“We are also appealing for any kind of support from the public because that will assist us as volunteers to keep our environment clean,” she added.

Cameron Brisbane, executive director of the Built Environment Support Group (Besg), praised them for their “civic pride and ubuntu”.

“Needless to say they are dirt poor and have asked us to help them fundraise to buy protective clothing and tools,” he said.

Brisbane said they had Section 18A tax status so any corporate sponsor could include whatever help they gave them in their tax returns.

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