Working for the Coast encourages communities to clean up beaches
THE Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) launched another exciting new cycle of the Working for the Coast (Wftc) programme last year, during the World Oceans Day celebrations in Durban.
The Wftc programme is one of DEA’s Expanded Public Works Projects (EPWP) implemented in order to clean and rehabilitate the coastline, whilst creating jobs and skills development in coastal communities.
The launch introduced a new Working for the Coast project cycle, which will run for two years, covering the entire South African coastline from Alexander Bay to Kosi Bay. These projects will generate approximately 2 407 work opportunities.
The Department also hosted an eventful beach clean-up campaign to celebrate World Oceans Day led by the Director-General of DEA Nosipho Ngcaba, DEA officials, community members, schools from surrounding areas, and beneficiaries of the Department’s Working for Water and Working for the Coast Programmes.
During her keynote address, Ngcaba announced that the total mass of waste collected on the day was 729.5 kilograms and that the most common litter found was plastic bottle caps, metal bottle caps, polystyrene pieces and cigarette butts.
She encouraged community members to keep their beaches clean in order to combat the challenge of marine litter that is currently facing the country.
“South Africa is not immune to the problem as the presence of litter, particularly plastic items is a common sight along our recreational beaches and estuaries – especially in urban areas.
“The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has said that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans.
“Therefore celebrations such as World Oceans Day should be used to raise more awareness about the problem of plastic litter and to encourage the public to make a practical contribution by participating in clean-up campaigns,” she concluded.
Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs Barbara Thomson and the Director General of Environmental Affairs Nosipho Ngcaba join the community for a clean-up campaign.