Work­ing for the Coast en­cour­ages com­mu­ni­ties to clean up beaches

The Star Early Edition - - JUNE IS ENVIRONMENT MONTH -

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.

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