On 17 November 2023, the Mangaung Metro Municipality launched the cleaning and greening initiative as well as the separation of waste at the Southern Landfill site at Ehrlich Park, Bloemfontein.
The pilot project was launched by the Deputy Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment, Ms Makhotso Sotyu. She was also joined by the Deputy Minister in the Presidency, responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Pinky Kekana, as well as MMM executive mayor, Gregory Nthatisi.
Sotyu highlighted that the department employed 2,100 new contractors and that these contractors will be receiving R2700 as a stipend over 12 months.
She also added that R68 million was spent on the fleet alone – a total of 10 tipper trucks were bought, with 13 TLBs and 2 compactors for the landfills.
“R200 million was spent on the Mangaung Metro Municipality to create a clean environment in and around the Free State,” said the deputy minister.
Regional public affairs communications and sustainability manager for Coca-Cola Beverages (Free State), Pinky Lebitso highlighted that they are aware that the challenges faced pertaining to waste and plastic pollution cannot be solved by the government alone.
Therefore, by partnering with the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment. Coca-Cola will assist in lessening the impact of waste and increase recycling rates through extended producer responsibility programmes.
Executive mayor of the Mangaung Metro Municipality, Cllr. Gregory Nthatisi touched on the issue of foreign nationals that are allegedly occupying the landfill site and are posing a danger to workers and residents.
“The government is in the process of putting measures in place to deal with the issue of foreigners wanting shelter but we do not have to allow them to become a problem in undermining our laws and regulations. We are going to be hard on that.”
The equipment that has been bought must also assist in terms of regular scraping of waste management. Companies that can re-utilise waste effectively as part of energy provision are also invited to assist the municipality.
The mayor highlighted that no area of Mangaung will be left out and that even the Northern Landfill site situated near Northridge Mall will be tackled.