The Deputy Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Makhotso Sotyu, has launched the Cleaning and Greening Programme for the City of Mbombela with 2 000 new job opportunities in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga.
Delivering the keynote address on Thursday, the Deputy Minister explained how the programme tackles poverty and unemployment while ensuring that the environment is clean and protected.
According to the department, illegal dumping and littering are some of the most common problems in South Africa that affect all municipalities, irrespective of the size and extent of the area.
The prevalence of these ineffective waste management practices is being witnessed in many parts of the country.
This trend, the department said, unfortunately, affects the well-being of communities.
“President Cyril Ramaphosa asked all of us as government leaders to come up with programmes to create jobs for our people, especially post the COVID-19 pandemic. As a department, we have responded to the President’s call with this initiative to create jobs while contributing to a cleaner environment,” said the Deputy Minister.
Last year, Minister Barbara Creecy launched the national Municipal Cleaning and Greening Programme (MCGP), which is being implemented across the nine provinces.
The City of Mbombela is one of the 14 prioritised municipalities for the expansion of the MCGP.
The expansion will increase waste management across the participating municipalities through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).
The EPWP is a medium-to long-term government-funded programme that promotes the use of labour-intensive methods to create work opportunities for poor and unemployed South Africans.
Workers in each municipality will enable more waste management capacity while addressing service delivery, skills development, unemployment, and creating cleaner towns.
The programme prioritises employment, emphasising empowering women, youth, and people with disabilities.
“This programme will essentially see community members working with the government to clean their communities while earning a monthly stipend. The programme will allow you, the participants, to put food on the table, to provide for yourselves and your families while carrying out the important task of keeping our communities clean,” she told the participants.