Residents clean up Masi after Facebook plea

* Left: Some of the people who helped make Masis first clean-up a great success.

KAREN KOTZE

The positive response elicited by a Masi woman’s Facebook post has resulted in a community initiative through which residents are helping to clean up their area.

After Zanyiwe Mavubengwana posted her plea to her peers on Facebook a number of residents applauded her leadership, and offered to help.

The enthusiasm also garnered support from surrounding suburbs, with individuals and organisations arriving with practical help like gloves and rubbish bags.

The initial clean-up was held on Saturday January 12 when the group cleared about 200 rubbish bags from the taxi rank and Pokela Road up to the clinic.

“Last Saturday we cleaned the park in Myeza Road and my neighbours and community came again. We had firefighters, volunteers and my kids again with their friends,” she said.

“What made me start this initiative is the rubbish that is on every street corner. People have been complaining a lot about it and I thought we need to do something about it; instead of complaining, let’s be the solution to the problem,” she said. “It has been great to the point that people want to help revive the children’s park we cleaned Saturday,” Ms Mavubengwana said.

She said it was important to teach the younger generation that they can contribute like this because it is empowering to be part of the solution.

Ms Mavubengwana was touched that her post was picked up by people outside of Masi who also wanted to help.

“We had people from the valley who came in to help too – so many. There was Leigh Barrett from Revamp the Valley project, and people from the Noordhoek soccer club as well,” she said.

Another happy helper was Lizelle Coombs from Angels Resource Centre who said at month-end a recycling initiative would be launched, run by existing Masi residents, which will encourage recycling and show the cash value of trash.

Ms Coombs said rats had long been an issue in Masi because of sanitation issues and she was pleased to see that Masi resi-
dents were taking charge of their living environment. She was also happy to see resources shared in such an inspirational way. “We definitely made a start and will make a dent in the situation yet,” she said.

Noordhoek resident Corrine Wilson called in extra support from Sonette Son who runs Project Noordhoeked, a non-profit group through which the community creates jobs to clean and keep Noordhoek safe. Ms Son, in turn, brought in the sup-
port of the Noordhoek Football Club.

Ms Wilson said she wanted to continue supporting Ms Mavubengwana.

Ms Mavubengwana thanked everyone who volunteered their time and wants to keep the cleaning initiative going. She plans to return to the park in Masonwabe Street to clear glass from the entrance.

Her initiative has unearthed greater awareness in the area and community members are now discussing the legalities and feasibility of a skip, while other residents are pledging to buy strong black bags for the next clean-up.

Ward councillor Aimee Khul described the event as a positive story and congratulated all involved for their effort, on her Facebook page.

Masi resident Linda Jace Njovane expressed her gratitude on the Masi Facebook page, adding that the problem would not be easy to address because during the night people dumped their rubbish anywhere. However, she said, thanks to people like Ms Mavubengwana she thinks Masi will grow. “It may not be now but the shift is coming,” she said.

To get involved in the next clean-up, contact Lizelle Coombs on 086 1111 950 or Zanyiwe Mavubengwana on Facebook.