Deputy Minister Ms Barbara Thomson leads Nelson Mandela Month Clean-Up in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth

26 July 2018


Today, the Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Barbara Thomson led a community clean-up and donated school desks to various disadvantaged schools in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth. These activities are part of  government’s “Be the Legacy” series of commemorations of the Nelson Mandela Month, that allows South Africans and the global community to honour the former South African President and an international icon, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

In line with the government’s declaration of July as Mandela Month and call on all South Africans to become part of the movement for change in making a difference in the lives of needy fellow citizens, the community clean-up is aimed at affording the residents of Motherwell, Wells Estate and Colchester with an opportunity for a coordinated clean-up of their communities.

“Littering is not acceptable, as it is not only unsightly, but also leads to environmental degradation. Our clean-up contributions may seem meagre, but when combined these can have a positive impact,” observed the Deputy Minister.

“This clean-up campaign starts with each one of us. I also urge you to continue to work within your own communities to encourage your friends, your neighbours, your work colleagues to understand the role the whole community can play in protecting the environment,” she said.

Deputy Minister Thomson also donated quality, solid wood school desks to several needy schools in the area. Coega Primary School, Mpumalanga Primary School, Dumani Primary School, Mfesane Senior Secondary School and Ndyebo High School were were identified because they have environmental groups and are part of the Motherwell Environmental Management Group.

The schools desks are from the department’s Eco-Furniture programme which was started 13 years ago. The programmes produces quality furniture from the biomass of water gulping, invasive alien trees that are cleared under DEA’s Working for Water programme. With the support of the Department of Basic Education, the Eco-Furniture programme is now turning into one of the Government’s most innovative, and successful, employment-creation programmes.

“These are high-quality, solid-wood desk that will last for many decades.  And the desks are significantly less expensive than what most schools have been paying for desks,” said the Deputy Minister. 

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