ARO Teams up with Cape Town for Environment

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The African Reclaimers Organisation (ARO) embarked on a cleaning campaign together with the city of Cape Town solid waste management team. The activity took place on 20 October 2022, in the TR Section of Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

The cleaning campaign was initiated by Andiswa Namzi, who works for the city of Cape Town and Aphelele Sidanga.  Sidanga said they started the campaign to teach residents about pollution, and to show the importance of cleanliness and clean air.

Sidanga added that collaboration with reclaimers (members of ARO) helped them a lot because there was now less waste. They also have campaigns to spread awareness in the community about the tidiness and that it is an offense to litter anywhere else but in dustbins.

Some members of the community volunteered to be part of the cleaning campaigns.

The city says it found that there is a lot of illegal dumping taking place in the informal settlements and the townships.  It is their aim to achieve a cleaner environment.

The campaigners also asked community leaders and councillors to come and work with them together with the reclaimers. They also asked them to invite other stakeholders, especially those in the health for gloves and masks, and the city EPWP (Extended Public Works Programme) project for plastics to put in all the waste collect. After cleaning, a municipal truck comes and takes the waste to a landfill.

The places they have cleaned so far are Khayelitsha Site B, the railway station and the bridge underside as their first initiative collaborating with ARO reclaimers.

Coordinator and committee member from ARO in Cape Town, Mrs Njana said today’s cleaning campaign was not a success due to ward-politics. As reclaimers, they will not be involved in ward-cleaning campaigns unless they are the ones who run the campaign.

According to a report brought by Namzi, the supervisor for the EPWP workers and community leaders said the reclaimers are there to take their jobs and that they should not continue with the cleaning campaign. The reclaimers are doing the cleaning on a volunteer basis.

Merlin Plaatjie, a young woman and a reclaimer, said, it helps them as the youth to volunteer on campaigns because it gives them better opportunity to be later hired because they are not being hired even in community projects.

Today’s campaign was not a success. It was not formally planned and there was a shortage of personal protective equipment.

This article was submitted on 20 October 2022. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

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