Herman Mashaba

Open letter to Minister Derek Hanekom

2019-01-14 10:57
Pikitup employees remove waste in Johannesburg.

Pikitup employees remove waste in Johannesburg. (Simone Kley/Netwerk24)

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Dear Minister

Given the fanfare with which your observations about the state of cleanliness of the Johannesburg Inner City was received on social media recently, I waited with baited breath for your response to my letters on the subject.

In all honestly, I thought you would be the first to respond given your new-found celebrity status arising from your incorrect observations of the city that I run. But nothing!

It is for this reason that I have decided to pen this article, to invite you to get your hands dirty alongside me.

During the course of December 2018, we engaged one another on the state of cleanliness in the Inner City of Johannesburg.

Despite our many differences, I believe we are all committed to a shared value that Johannesburg, its CBD, and all other cities in our country should be in an impeccable state of cleanliness.

The work of the multi-party government has achieved a third, daily, additional cleaning shift in the Inner City and insourced former Jozi@Work contract workers to improve cleaning in Johannesburg. The operational budget of Pikitup has risen to more than R2.1bn. However, it is only by government and society partnering together that we can achieve the consciousness that results in the levels of cleanliness we clearly aspire for in Johannesburg and South Africa.

However, as I am sure you are well aware, it also requires a change in attitude across society to address the extent of littering and illegal dumping which are major factors in filth. It is for that reason that I launched A Re Sebetseng (Let us Work) arising from the example set in Rwanda.

This program has run for nearly 18 months and has achieved great results. As at the end of November 2018, over 4000 tonnes of waste had been collected through the initiative.

I would therefore challenge you to join me in our next A Re Sebetseng campaign scheduled for Saturday, 19 January 2019. I will be focusing my personal efforts on the Inner City, and would welcome you joining our team of residents, officials and elected public representatives. I am sure, given your recent concerns, you would jump at the opportunity to roll up your sleeves and join this initiative.

Let us Work, I look forward to seeing you there.

- Mashaba is executive mayor of the City of Johannesburg.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  tito mboweni  |  herman mashaba  |  derek hanekom  |  city of johannesburg
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