Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries marked World Environment Day in Nellmapius, Pretoria

05 June 2019

 

Today newly appointed Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Ms Barbara Creecy joins the community of Nellmapius in Mamelodi East in a clean- up campaign in support of World Environment Day.

The Minister was joined by the Deputy Minister, Ms Maggie Sotyu, and Gauteng’s MEC for Environment Mr Kgosientsho Ramagopa.  Nelmapius, which houses Tshwane’s Heatherly Municipal Landfill Site, is also affected by widespread illegal dumping that impacts negatively on resident’s daily lives.

“Worldwide, pollution and ineffective waste management affects the lives of people living with poverty most severely. South Africa is no exception, and the legacy of our past means that Black people living in poor communities shoulder this burden disproportionately” said Minister Barbara Creecy.

While the proportion of households with access to formal waste removal has grown to 80% compared to 55% in 2001, waste removal remains a challenge in many urban areas. Only sixty-six percent of households having refuse removal at least once per week.  The consequence is many households resort to informal waste disposal.

On 8 March this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the Good Green Deeds campaign which aimed to mobilise citizens to promote environmental action for sustainable living practices.

By changing attitudes and behaviour to promote responsible waste management, the campaign aims to create a country free of litter and illegal dumping.

“The way our country looks says a great deal about us as a nation, about what we stand for, about our values and about our national character” Said President Ramaphosa at the launch. “Our National Waste Management Strategy has the potential to contribute 69 000 jobs in the green economy and support the development of countless SMMEs and Co-operatives.  Accordingly we want to encourage communities to view waste as a potential source of income” said Minister Creecy.

Already the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries has identified opportunities for waste beneficiation in plastics, paper, glass, tyres, building rubble, ash, sludge and electronics. These initiatives involve scientific research, value chain development, skills training and micro enterprise support, the minister added.

Provincial government is currently assessing the management of municipal landfills with the aim of identifying weaknesses and developing and strategy for improving compliance to license conditions.

National Government is in the process of reviewing the support we give provincial and local government with a view to making our National Waste Management Strategy more effective.

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