When people live in clean surroundings they are able to live with confidence as they walk in dignity. This is the view of Athenkosi Xegwana from Motherwell in Eastern Cape.
The 20-year-old is one of the people who have recently graduated through the Department of Human Settlements Youth Brigade Programme. The programme trained young people in skills such as bricklaying, plumbing and painting. The participants were also empowered with communications skills and education on diseases such as HIV.
On 04 December 2015, Xegwana and other participants of the Youth Brigade Programme joined Minister of Human Settlements, Lindiwe Sisulu and Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Danny Jordaan on a clean-up campaign at Walmer Q area, in Port Elizabeth.
The campaign aimed at encouraging communities to take care of their new homes and the environment they live in. “I feel excited to be one of the young people who are taking action to create a healthy atmosphere in this area,” said Xegwana
“Some of the people who live in this area are old people and no longer have the strength to clean their backyards. It is the responsibility of the youth to help the elders in keeping our residential areas clean,” added Xegwana.
After visiting one of the eldest beneficiaries, who received a house earlier in the week, Minister Sisulu emphasised that Human Settlements was more than a house, but also about the conditions that people lived in.
“The environment defines us. As we develop our cities we would reach a point where littering becomes illegal as there is no dignity in filth,” said Minister Sisulu.
Nelson Mandela Bay, Executive Mayor Danny Jordaan said there was progress in delivering houses in the Metro. He highlighted that there was positive impact particularly on prioritising child headed housesholds and older people.
“We want to see our communities clean, and we are here to lead in encouraging our people to do that,” said Executive Mayor Jordaan.
- By Botshelo Selogilwe