South African Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, has bemoaned the state of sanitation and hygiene in downtown Johannesburg’s streets, describing them as “filthy and embarrassing” to Africa’s most industrialised nation.
In a tweet on Thursday, 27 December 2018, Mboweni said he compared the city’s streets to those of Kigali, the tiny capital of Rwanda, where he is visiting, saying they were “clean and beautiful.”
“What a contrast!” Mboweni said of the two cities.
He tweeted: “On 26 December 2018, I decided to drive around the Johannesburg Central Business District. It was filthy and embarrassing. I came across these shacks in the middle of our city. This morning I arrived here to a clean and beautiful city of Kigali, Rwanda. What a contrast!”
In an updated tweet, Mboweni said: “all of us have a responsibility to keep our towns, cities and the countryside clean and habitable.”
“If we don’t throw dirt around and the municipalities collect rubbish regularly, we can achieve a lot,” he added.
Johannesburg mayor, Herman Mashaba, has been at the forefront of attempts to keep the city clean since he was elected to the post two years ago.
Mashaba’s monthly, city-wide volunteer cleaning campaign, dubbed A Re Sebetseng, was launched in August last year. It is based on the successful monthly cleaning campaign of Kigali, named Umuganda.
A Re Sebetseng means “let’s work” and calls on communities to take ownership of their communities by working towards a common goal: having a clean city.
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