“You can make all the difference. Whether it is in recycling your waste, or conducting clean-up activities in your street, in your neighbourhood, school, or municipality, you must be the agent of change we want and need,” the President said.
Addressing the launch of the Good Green Deeds campaign on Friday, he called on the youth to be the champions of this campaign, an initiative that seeks to mobilise all sectors of South Africa to become more environmentally conscious.
“We want you, the young people of this country, to take the lead in being part of ward-based environmental education and awareness raising.
“We want you to be at the forefront of clean-up campaigns; and to gain exposure to municipal environmental management functions as a source of attaining work experience,” President Ramaphosa said.
He said littering and illegal dumping negatively after the air pollution, streams and the oceans. It also affects people’s health, quality of life and the appearance of the country.
“In the same way that we tidy our homes and the spaces around us, we should take personal responsibility for keeping our environment clean.
“Our Constitution is clear that the environment should be conserved and protected not just for current but future generations as well,” the President said.
The right to a clean environment is contained in the Bill of Rights.
“Let us all take ownership of this country that is South Africa, and of this planet that is our only home.
“The way our country looks says a great deal about us as a nation, about what we stand for, about our values and about our national character,” the President said.
President Ramaphosa launched the Good Green Deeds campaign at the Sisa Dukashe stadium, Mdantsane, in East London.
The Good Green Deeds campaign is aimed at changing people’s attitudes and behaviour towards responsible waste management and shift the paradigm to influence people to be environmentally conscious and make use of the available recycling bins.
One of the objectives of the campaign is to expand productive capacity and enhance service delivery in key green economy sectors, including investment in bio-waste resources, using best practices in food waste composting and urban food production initiatives that result in meaningful employment creation in green economy sectors.
Government has challenged South Africans to continue with the spirit of Thuma Mina and answer the call to stop littering and illegal dumping.
South Africans can participate in the social media challenge for the campaign.