Mayor helps clean up the Bo-Kaap

As part of the City of Cape Town’s clean-up campaign, Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has been getting his hands dirty in neighbourhoods around the city. Over the weekend, he was in Bo-Kaap to help the community clean up their streets.

Chairman of the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers’ Association (BKCRA), Osman Shaboodien, and Ward 77 councillor, Francine Higham, reached out to the mayor to join them for this clean-up initiative.

“I want to inspire Capetonians to clean up and take pride in their city,” said Mr Hill-Lewis.

“Bo-Kaap, for example, is one of the most spectacular places in Cape Town. It’s a blessing to be living in this neighbourhood, but the City alone cannot keep it clean and residents need to be active when it comes to cleaning up. They have to take pride and take responsibility for their neighbourhood.”

“We will help as we are going but I would urge residents to report illegal dumping. It’s free to dump this building rubble at a municipal dump site. We are trying to inspire people not to litter and so it starts with you as an individual. Don’t litter and if you do see a wrapper on the floor, pick it up,” he said.

Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis was dismayed at the amount of debris he found.

Jacqueline Poking from the BKCRA agreed with the mayor that residents should take ownership of their communities. “It’s everyone’s responsibility to clean up Bo-Kaap. We will all benefit from a clean, safe neighbourhood,” said Ms Poking.

“There is no excuse for dumping and I believe that there are people that don’t care what they do, or where they dump. We have to address the approach of some people. In Afrikaans there is a saying, ’maak voor jou eie deur skoon’, and we should do that.”

Residents were busy cleaning up in this field of Bo-Kaap.

Ms Higham said the event gave them a chance to highlight the harmful impact of illegal dumping and to educate the residents about their environment as the City handed out 60 compost bins to residents to promote the use of organic waste.

“It’s an extremely good idea, especially for people that have gardens. The compost will assist in the growth of plants,” said Ibrahim Manan, 73.

Mr Manan added that there was much work to be done when it came to cleaning up the City but was delighted with the awareness campaign.

Shu-aib Behardien, 58, added: “It’s a good initiative from them to get people to go green. It’s needed for this city. I know now what I can re-use and I understand the cycle of compost a bit better.”

Azrah Behardien, 27, agreed with her dad, saying that while they do recycle, the event had opened their eyes to the value of the compost bins.

“I’m happy about this compost bins because I see all the waste on the streets that can benefit us and hopefully people can use it to dump their waste, this is a useful tool,” Sedick Agherdien, 58, from Grassy Park.

“If people use it properly then it will benefit them, it’s good for gardening,” said Isma-Eel Hartley, 37, a former Bo-Kaap resident who now lives in Athlone.

Mr Hartley said it seemed some residents didn’t care about their environment, and added that the Bo-Kaap had been much cleaner when he grew up there.

“If there were more bins and people put their rubbish in the bins, then we would not have to have the council cleaning up after us. There used to be blue bins on the light posts and it worked but vandals destroyed that,” he said.

Ms Highham said that another clean-up initiative and awareness campaign is scheduled for September or October.

To report illegal dumping, the City can be contacted on 0214807700 or 107 from a landline.

On the left is Ward 77 councillor Francine Higham taking a quick break during the Bo-Kaap clean-up.