Green Clarens praised

2017-03-15 06:03

Clarens, the tourist attraction town in the Eastern Free State, came top in the competition of maintaining a clean environment in the province.

The town has received recognition in three accolades at the inaugural Free State Cleanest and Greenest Municipality Competition awards.

The awards are the best cleanest town, cleanest and greenest programmes implemented, as well as the best local municipality’s township conservancies or public participation in the province.

The awards ceremony was held on 3 March in Bloemfontein and the awards were an initiative of the provincial Department of Economic, Small Business, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (Destea).

Kgotso Tau, communication director of the department, said the awards initiative was in line with the National Waste Management Strategy initiated by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).

“The objectives of the competition are the promotion of a clean and healthy environment in all municipalities in the province through greening, cleaning and beautification exercises.

“It is very important to maintain a clean, safe and healthy environment for current and future generations to know the significance and impact this has in life,” said Tau. He said encoura-ging the public to participate in greening programmes would go a long way in maintaining a clean environment.

The other recipients were the Sechaba se Maketse High School from Botshabelo. The school received laptops for the learners and teachers.

The Petco company walked away with the best supporting company for waste recycling facilities and also received recognition for training and awareness programmes, as well as their donation of equipment towards recycling facilities.

The cleanest ward went to Parys, Ngwathe, while the Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality received the award as the best municipality in job creation through environmental projects.

MEC Benny Malakoane said the problem of environmentally unfriendly towns and municipalities is a bad habit, destroying the environment.

“This negative behaviour plays a part in the destruction of our environments, thus the need to teach the next gene-ration about greening and cleaning of their own settlements in order to make our environment healthier to live in.

“The dirty settlements and areas such as taxi ranks may cause social determinant diseases that may be a result of sewerage spills and bad waste management.

“Environmental awareness should be part of schools’ curriculum to instill the practice of nature preservation from an early age,” he said.

Malakoane said to sustain the green and clean environment, it is fundamental to employ contract workers in all the municipalities, to promote the concept of community parks and involving the youth within the concept of the National Youth Service Corporations (Narysec) and the Youth Environment Service (Yes) project.

“It is important to participate in greening initiatives.

“Educating and raising awareness in the Free State on good waste management practices is important, as is encouraging local municipalities and their communities to take part in the minimisation of waste in their towns and townships,” said Malakoane.

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