Today, 6 March 2019, the Executive Mayor, Cllr Bongani Baloyi, together with the Executive Mayor for the City of Tshwane, Cllr Stevens Mokgalapa, and the Executive Mayor of City of Johannesburg, Cllr Herman Mashaba, launched an expansion of the monthly A Re Sebetseng volunteer clean-up campaign to the municipalities of Tshwane and Midvaal.

A Re Sebetseng was first launched in Johannesburg in August of 2017. #AReSebetsengGauteng will now seek to broaden the spirit of community volunteerism to City of Tshwane and Midvaal Local Municipality, and hopefully, across Gauteng.

Since the inception of the A Re Sebetseng, close to 28 000 bags of waste have been collected and approximately 21 500 residents have participated across the City through this community led initiative.

We have seen various communities don gloves and Pikitup bags to clean their local street or public space. It has been nothing short ofinspiring to see residents take ownership of their environment, assisting the City to keep our public spaces clean and safe.

We have received pledges of support for A Re Sebetseng from many organisation that share our goal of taking ownershipof one’s surroundings. These include, among many others, the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), the University of Johannesburg, Coca Cola, Avis Fleet, and Interwaste.

In partnership with Adcock Ingram Critical Care and Netcare, the City assisted schools in providing 1 000school shoes, made from recycled plastic, were handed over to the children of Masakhane-Tswelopele Primary School in Zandspruit last year.

#ARESebetsengGauteng aims to be a non-partisan campaign,bringing together individuals from different communities, works of life and beliefs. As such, we had hoped many other municipalities would have heeded our invitation to join this great initiative. We hope that as the initiative grows from strength to strength,many more municipalities will come on board.

Executive Mayor Cllr Herman Mashaba says, “I truly believe that A Re Sebetseng has the potentialto not only change the face of Johannesburg but to also inspire the nation. I look forward to the partnership between the municipalities of Joburg, Midvaal and Tshwane in helping to build cleaner, safer and more connected communities. The peopleof our respective municipalities will benefit from our collaboration as we ensure the spirit of volunteerism transcends municipal boundaries in Gauteng.”

The Executive Mayor of the Midvaal Local Municipality, Cllr Bongani Baloyi, said, “This volunteer campaign is critical to bettering communityparticipation not only in keeping their respective environments clean, but also to encourage active citizenry. We want our residents to use their platforms to create the change they want to see. I am excited to start the roll out of #AReSebetsengGautengacross the Midvaal Local Municipality”.

City of Tshwane Executive Mayor Cllr Stevens Mokgalapa, said, “The City of Tshwane has always encouraged environmental awareness and getting communities to take charge of keeping their neighbourhoods clean. InJune 2018 we launched a Tswelopele Clean-Up Campaign which attracted volunteers from around the city and multiple sponsors at inception. It is against this background that we decided to join hands with our peers and adopt the #AResebetseng brand going forwardso that we can collectively keep the Province of Gauteng Clean.”