Hanover Park residents clean their community

Jamie Thorton 13, and Fatiema Dollie, 13, cleaned-up around the netball pitch.

About 60 residents came out on Saturday to pick up dirt in Hanover Park to commemorate World Clean Up Day.

World Clean Up Day is celebrated on September 18 every year and the initiative iin Hanover Park on Saturday, was a joint one between Vision of Change and the Fishrite Hanover Park Cricket Club.

Residents split into four groups and picked up litter in four areas – Athwood and Summit roads, Downberg road, Lonedown road, and the netball pitch on the corner of Downberg and Ryburg roads.

Rabia Achmat, 48, from Vanguard Estate cleaned up around the netball pitch.

Kim Williams, director of Vision of Change in South Africa, which is in the process of registering as a non-profit organisation, said that dumping led to crime which she wanted to avoid as Hanover Park was already riddled with gangsterism and crime.

“We don’t want to live in filth we want our homes and our areas to be clean. We are fighting plastic pollution so it’s important to clean up our areas. It’s our communities, its out dirt so lets take responsibility for our actions. We can do this for ourselves so that we can live in cleanliness,” she said.

Visions of Change also conducts regular clean-ups at Milnerton Lagoon and in Fisantekraal as well as at beaches. They also plant trees to encourage a love for nature and so far they’ve planted 1 000 trees in Cape Town.

“This is your home and you don’t deserve a dirty home so let’s do something about it. The skips are here but they serve no purpose because it doesn’t get cleaned often so we have to make a change,” she said.

Sisters Raeesah Achmat 16, and Mushfieqah Achmat 18, also cleaned up.

Igsaan Hugo, head coach of the Fishrite Hanover Park Cricket Club, agreed that dirty neighbourhoods attracted crime. He said that when you live among dirt you don’t feel clean and want to live a clean, bountiful life. He said it was residents who were dumping so they must take responsibility for their area.

“We want to promote responsible citizenship and environmental ambassadors. People are dumping right next to the skips so we want to make youth aware that they can report illegal dumping. Perhaps our kids can go home and encourage their families to dispose of dirt responsibly,” he said.

Tamia Amos, 21, from Hanover Park, said people dumped because of a lack of education and discipline at home.

“Dirt leads to crime. The graffiti on the walls is also part of dumping because it is dirty and ugly and it is illegal and degrades our area,” she said.

“So when you are doing that you are committing a crime. We want to stop this and encourage people to put their papers in their pockets and wait until they get home to throw their papers away and not in the road.”

Residents can report illegal dumping to the City of Cape Town on 0860 103 089, after-hour emergencies to 021 957 4700 or email wastewise@capetown.gov.za