The problem of environmentally unfriendly towns, municipalities and patrons are destroying our environment, Department of Economic, Small Business, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA) MEC, Dr Benny Molokoane said.

Speaking at the Cleanest and Greenest Municipality Competition Awards which were recently held in the Free State, Molokoane said that the negative behaviours of municipalities influence the preservation or destruction of our environments.

“…there is a need to teach the next generation about greening and cleaning of their own settlements in order to make our environment healthier to live in,” he said.

The dirty settlements and areas such as taxi ranks may cause social diseases that often result from sewage spills and poor waste management.

Molokoane said that environmental awareness should be part of a school’s curriculum to instil the practice of nature preservation from an early age.

Cleanest and Greenest Municipality Competition Awards

The objectives of the competition were the promotion of a clean and healthy environment in all the selected provincial municipalities through greening, cleaning and beautification exercises.

This includes the employment of annual contract workers across municipalities, who are encouraged to promote the concept of community parks by involving the youth.

Another objective of the awards is to create clean living spaces by inspiring communities to clean-up, fix up and conserve their environment.

The competition also aims to encourage and ensure sustainable development by creating job opportunities through the practice of appropriate and effective greening, cleaning, recycling and waste management programmes.

Molokoane also highlighted that it was important to support local municipalities to promote best practises in environmental management practise through capacity building.

The adjudication of the different categories were in line with these objectives, and the big winners on the night were as follows:

  • The schools competition award went to Sechaba se Maketse High School who also received laptops for the learners and teachers,
  • The PETCO Company walked away with the best supporting company for waste recycling facilities. They were also honoured for their training and awareness programmes as well as their donation of equipment to those recycling facilities.
  • The cleanest ward went to Parys, Ngwathe
  • The best municipality in job creation through environmental projects was awarded to Maluti-a-Phofung.
  • The biggest winner on the night was Clarens, scooping three awards in the best LM cleanest and greenest programmes implemented, and the cleanest ward.