Greening Gauteng: Premier’s New Programme Combats Pollution and Unemployment

  • The Gauteng provincial government, led by Premier Panyaza Lesufi and MEC Mbali Hlophe, has launched the Cleaning and Greening Expanded Public Works Programme. This initiative addresses the growing issues of littering, illegal dumping, food insecurity, and unemployment, particularly in Townships, Informal settlements, and Hostels (TISH).
  • The programme aims to clean and restore the environment while creating 6,000 temporary jobs for unemployed community members. These individuals will engage in cleaning and greening activities, contributing to both environmental restoration and their communities’ economic upliftment.
  • This initiative forms part of the Gauteng government’s larger commitment to environmental management, including continued support for the Bontle ke Botho (BKB) sustainable clean-ups and greening initiatives. The overall aim is to enhance human dignity, instill community pride, and promote a balance between economic growth and environmental sustainability.

Premier Panyaza Lesufi, in collaboration with the MEC for Social Development, Agriculture and Environment, Mbali Hlophe, announced on Sunday, 14 May 2023, the launch of the Cleaning and Greening Expanded Public Works Programme. This province-wide initiative is a strategic move in response to the escalating issues of littering, illegal dumping, food insecurity and unemployment across Gauteng.

The Vision and Goals of the Initiative

The provincial government’s intervention underscores its commitment to protecting the environment, promoting public health, and providing employment opportunities. The areas of focus for this initiative are predominantly Townships, Informal settlements, and Hostels (TISH) where littering and illegal dumping pose significant threats to environmental health and community well-being.

The Cleaning and Greening Expanded Public Works Programme is not merely an environmental initiative but also a socio-economic strategy aimed at addressing two key challenges faced by the province: food insecurity at the household level and rising unemployment rates.

The project’s core mission is twofold: to clean and restore the environment while also creating job opportunities for the unemployed. The initiative is set to generate 6,000 temporary work opportunities for community members currently without employment. These individuals will participate in cleaning and greening activities, providing them with an income source and a chance to contribute positively to their communities.

The Continued Commitment to Environmental Management

The Gauteng provincial government’s initiative is not an isolated endeavor but part of a larger commitment to environmental management and sustainability. Alongside the new programme, the government will continue to support the Bontle ke Botho (BKB) initiatives, which champion sustainable clean-ups and greening efforts in TISH communities.

The BKB initiatives, which translates to “Beauty is Humanity,” aim to enhance human dignity and instill pride within communities. They involve sustainable clean-ups and greening activities, echoing the same objectives as the newly launched Cleaning and Greening Expanded Public Works Programme.

A Step Towards a Greener Gauteng

The launch of the Cleaning and Greening Expanded Public Works Programme marks a significant step towards a cleaner and greener Gauteng. The initiative promises to address environmental issues while also providing much-needed employment opportunities and tackling food insecurity challenges.

Premier Panyaza Lesufi and MEC Mbali Hlophe’s commitment to the province’s environment and its residents is evident in this initiative. It is an example of the government’s dedication to creating a balance between economic growth, environmental sustainability, and social development.

As Gauteng takes this step towards a cleaner environment and a more secure future for its residents, other provinces and countries worldwide may look to this initiative as a model for addressing similar challenges.

The Cleaning and Greening Expanded Public Works Programme is an example of what can be achieved when environmental protection and socio-economic development go hand in hand. It is a move that not only benefits Gauteng’s environment but also its people, setting the province on a path towards a more sustainable future.

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