Community Engagement student Volunteer Champions (VC’s) from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in partnership with the City of Johannesburg and Pickitup came together to clean the city of Johannesburg as part of their environmental campaign. On the 27th of February 2016, hundreds of UJ student VCs cleared litter and swept several inner city streets in Joubert Park, Doornfontein, MTN Taxi Rank and the Inner City.
This is one of the initiatives initiated by the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Community Engagement unit, to show its commitment to the mayor’s Inner City Regeneration Charter. “We wanted to do something like this to raise awareness, especially among young people that the principle of “cleanliness” is key to the sustainability of our society and is indicative of the need for ethical behaviour towards others, other people should not have to pick up waste that I produce. I am sure that this was an excellent drive to teach the public about clean, healthy and safe environment,” says Mr Andy Balaram, UJ Community Engagement Specialist.
Pedestrians, motorists and businessmen endured dusty moments in the early hours of the Saturday morning as the students swept the streets. About 24 bags of garbage were collected at the MTN Taxi rank as one of Johannesburg’s busiest taxi ranks and about 30 bags were also collected at the Wanderers taxi rank.
Students were divided into groups and were accompanied by the executive staff of the City of Johannesburg, Pickitup, NGOs and CBOs. The JMPD and SAP was also visible and guided UJ student VC’s through the streets of Johannesburg.
Some comments from the UJCE student Volunteer Champions who were part of the initiative:
“We felt concerned about Johannesburg CBD, and decided to come out in our numbers to do the right thing and set an example to educate the public about living in a clean environment. It felt very good to make a difference in the community.” – Elijah Nkosi, UJ CE VC.
“I feel proud that I was involved in this initiative and seeing the streets of Jozi clean, I am motivated and committed to do this again.”- Tendani Nemadodzi, UJ CE VC.