The Mzimvubu Local Municipality (LM) is the 2019 provincial winner of the Eastern Cape Greenest Municipality Awards (GMC), walking away with a whopping R500 000 in the process.
This was announced during the 2019 provincial Marine Day Celebrations and Greenest Municipality Awards that took place in Hamburg, Ngqushwa Local Municipality on 17 October 2019.
The GMC forms part of the efforts by Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) to capacitate and warn communities about the importance of caring for the environment especially avoidance and reduction of pollution.
The competition seeks to change attitudes by raising awareness and educating the public on good waste management practices, and to obtain community buy-in and encourage active participation by all stakeholders.
Speaking during the event, the MEC for DEDEAT, the Honourable Mlungisi Mvoko reiterated that the GMC seeks to encourage the municipalities and communities to keep their towns clean. Mvoko congratulated the winners whilst recognising the participants, saying ‘you being here means you yourselves are winners as you have won in your respective districts to be eligible to compete at the provincial level’.
Overall, the winners and participants in the competition are:
1. Mvimvubu LM – R500 000
2. Kouga LM – R300 000
3. Senqu LM – R200 000
4. Emalahleni LM – Certificate of participation
5. Port St Johns LM – Certificate of participation
6. Mbashe LM – Certificate of participation
Meanwhile, the Marine Day Celebrations are held during the National Marine Week, celebrated annually during the second week of October.
The National Marine Week for 2019 is celebrated under the theme “My Ocean Future”, a theme aimed primarily at addressing issues of plastic pollution and ocean-related careers.
Speaking about the celebrations, Mvoko said education and awareness are critical in preserving and managing marine resources especially for a province like the Eastern Cape which is endowed with natural resources.
He, however, cautioned the role players that ‘unless and until we involve surrounding communities and outline with clarity the opportunities for them to benefit, we will not go far’.
Mr Mzikayise Makubalo who is the secretary of the Hamburg could not agree more with the MEC’s sentiments as he said whilst we welcome and applaud the visit by the MEC and his team, we want to work more closely with both the department and municipality to ensure better management of these marine resources and to realise business and employment opportunities for the community.
Guided by a vision of an Eastern Cape where economic growth and sound environmental management underpin sustainable development, DEDEAT’s mandate is to lead economic development and environmental management in the province.