The Westville community joined forces to clean up their town on Mandela Day on Wednesday, 18 July. Meeting at the Westville country club’s squash courts, groups formed teams before splitting up to tackle various areas including the local eco trail. The community initiative was driven by the Westville CPF, Westville Country Club and the Eco Trail. Many residents attended and representatives of Mobiclaw security company and some members of the Westville conservancy.

Westville Country Club chairperson, Ed Pieret, said that he and his team have been cleaning up the Eco Trail for the past three years.

“We clean up that area everyday. At the moment I am getting rid of alien plants. Today we are continuing what we started some time ago. It is part of restoring the natural environment,” he said.

Attending the event was PR councillor, for Ward 92 and 24, Caelee Laing, who said that she supported the initiative along with Ward 30 Councillor, Warren Burn, and Ward 18 Councillor, Melanie Brauteseth. Laing said that she and her colleagues pushed the initiative in their capacity as the community and councillors of the area.
“The clean up focused not only on litter but alien invasive plants as well. Some of the community joined after work hours along with their children which was heartwarming to see,” said Laing.

“Another key role player contributing to the initiative was Louw Burger from Skipgo Durban Inner West, who donated a skip for the day and the Wildlands Conservation Trust who also pitched in by collecting all the refuse and transporting it to the Cato Manor recycling depot for sorting and recycling,” said Laing.

“It really is amazing to be a part of a community that cares about our surroundings and it was fantastic to see a good turnout and additions as the afternoon wore on. We filled a 4-ton truck and skip with full bags which goes to show how much we can do as a community when we all come together,” she added.

Speaking at the event, Brauteseth encouraged the community to remove illegal signs as they collected litter.

“If it is not a legal sign as indicated by a sticker, then you are allowed to take it down,” she said.

Burne highlighted that rubble dumped along the roadside also contributed to the litter problem.

“It was impressive to see how many people turned out and I compliment them for taking their time to join the initiative and I hope to see more school children joining in next time,” he added.