CoJ visits Kigali to study waste-management system

Executive mayor Clr Herman Mashaba signing the pledge at the launch of the A Re Sebetseng clean-up campaign in Yeoville recenlty.

A delegation from City of Johannesburg (CoJ) conducted a study tour to Kigali, in Rwanda, to gain insight into the functioning of its waste-management system.

The executive mayor, Clr Herman Mashaba, said this followed the launch the CoJ’s A Re Sebetseng monthly clean-up campaign in Yeoville last month.

“If we are to ensure that this campaign successfully revitalises our inner city and the rest of Johannesburg, we must implement best practice and equally ensure by-law compliance within the city,” said Mashaba.

He said the delegation, led by the MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services, Clr Nico de Jager, attended a best-practice study of solid-waste management in the City of Kigali from August 24 to 29.

The delegation included representatives from Pikitup and the city’s strategic partner, the Miss Earth South Africa Foundation.

“The City of Kigali implements a model called Umuganda, which sets the standard for a clean city and the benefits thereof. Like all major urban centres in the world, Kigali City continues to experience rapid urbanisation as large numbers of people migrate from rural areas to the city in search of economic opportunities.

“This means that the city had to analyse its solid-waste challenges and develop approaches which effectively address these challenges. Owing to its pro-activeness and steadfast approach, Kigali City is now lauded as ‘Africa’s cleanest city’,” said Mashaba.

The aim is to introduce some of the initiatives from Rwanda’s Umuganda model in the Johannesburg setting through monthly clean-up initiatives.

Some of the interventions pursued by the City of Kigali include:

• The Umuganda model which is a practice undertaken every last Saturday of the month when all citizens commit time to projects aimed at improving public spaces

• Robust enforcement of by-laws through community policing committees and other agencies

• Vigorous education and awareness initiatives

• Waste-to-energy programmes partnership models that put citizens and the private sector at the centre of efforts by the city to keep the environment clean

City of Johannesburg and Pikitup have sought to emulate some of the interventions from the Rwandan experience. These include:

• The introduction of a monthly clean-up campaign targeting all the regions of the city

• Revising the waste management by-laws to, among others, make separation of waste at source mandatory

• Education and awareness waste campaigns and stakeholder involvement programmes

• Developing partnership guidelines to involve mission-critical stakeholders as active participants in implementation of a new approach to waste management.

“If we are to turn our inner city, and Johannesburg as a whole, into a city that works, we must start with ourselves. We must change our mindset to one where we all take ownership of our communities,” Mashaba said.

He said this will be achieved when the city starts in the streets and keeps the environment clean by working together.

“We will start by doing this during our cleaning campaigns on the last Saturday of every month. As in Rwanda, a clean Johannesburg will lead to people wanting to visit our city to not only learn from us but invest in our local economy, which will grow job opportunities,” he said.

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  AUTHOR
Mbavhalelo Malofha

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