The can-do clean capital crew

2014-07-21 00:00

MANY Pietermaritzburg residents were no doubt nursing aching backs and sore muscles this weekend, all in aid of a worthy cause.

On Friday hundreds of people took to the streets, all eager to be part of a wave of social conscience to honour former president Nelson Mandela on his birthday as part of the Cleaning up the Capital campaign.

Piles of bulging rubbish bags were testimony to the hard work and civic pride evidenced on the day. A rallying call has been made for the clean-up to continue so Pietermaritzburg can once again be a capital city its residents can be proud of.

In some parts of the city, all the hard-work was worth it as the streets still looked spick and span yesterday. However, in other sections, it was back to square one on the same afternoon, as South Africa’s “throw-it-anywhere,” mentality persisted.

The Witness team who cleaned up in Willowton Road were disappointed to see spots that were cleaned up covered in litter once more.

Beulah John has captured a “never-give-up” attitude that should be maintained in the on-going campaign to clean the capital city.

John said on Friday morning, four concerned citizens (from Pelham, Scottsville and Hayfields), who had just been involved in the big Scottsville clean-up, continued their work on the pavement opposite Peter Pan School, stopping short of the railway bridge area from sheer exhaustion.

In the afternoon, Ndumiso Madlala and John tackled that area. “It took two hours to pick up everything that could be put into a bag from this small area. Seven bags of rubbish were taken to the dump by a neighbour, Brent Gerhardt, who had already taken more than 50 bags from a clean-up in the Mkondeni area,” said John.

However, she added that by Saturday morning the littering had started again, “but hopefully the big clean-up is just the start of an ongoing campaign to keep this area clean”.

John said the Peter Pan School is being upgraded and that it would be gratifying if the immediate community, and other users of the road (including taxi commuters), could all help to keep this stretch of road clean.

Her message highlights the fact that there is still a long road to travel on the sprucing the capital city campaign. Still, Mandela Day and all the action it generated, as shown in this photographic spread, shows the good will that exists in Maritzburg. The next steps are education, catching the litter-bugs and to keep on cleaning.

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