Siyakhona, Residents of Alexandra and city of Johannesburg Region E partner together to rid the township of it’s pollution

Posted: August 27, 2010 by Danny Lurie in Alexandra, HillsideDigital
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’m excited to tell you that Hillside Digital is now partnering with the city of Johannesburg and it is a dream come true relationship. Warren Radebe; one of Hillside Digital’s citizen journalist’s in Alexandra township, showed up at Region E municipal offices in the heart of Sandton City without an appointment and armed with a portable projector and the video he directed about the terrible infestation of rats in his township. Warren met with the managers of Alexandra and delivered a powerpoint presentation that included our solution to end the root cause of the problem; pollution.We had no idea they would turn our initiative into a much bigger campaign. They were impressed. Since that meeting we have now presented our video and idea of a campaign; asking all the stakeholders to join volunteers wanting to get rid of the pollution that is causing the pandemic; to every level of the municipal structure under Mayor Masondo.

When Warren presented to the Regional Director of Region E, he was drawn to tears when he told me about her response, the RD told him that she was so inspired that she was canceling her holiday and mobilizing every other region in Gauteng to support us in our initiative, she isn’t the only one.

We’ve been dealing with Thandiwe Mthonti, manager of steak-holder management for Region E, through most of the process and she is passionate about us. Thandiwe has postponed her leave, despite her exhaustion, and has long term plans on how we can work together. She is determined that we remain neutral and keep our independence. In her words we are the eyes, ears and voice of the community, she wants us to present every call to action initiative and the city will help us put it in action. In our last meeting she thanked the guys of Hillside Digital for inspiring her again in her work. I had to hold my emotions back as it became clear that the dream I had on my dad’s farm in Mpumalanga was being realized.

The clean-up campaign in Alexandra lead by Hillside Digital and the Siyakhona project will take place between 1st and 3rd September and will involve the City of Johannesburg Region E, the City Department of Health, Pikitup, JMPD and SAPS, the Alexandra Renewal Project, local councilors and the community at large. The Johannesburg Roads Agency has made available three cranes to lift the covers on the storm drains and allow access to the sewers where rats are breeding. Over four days the campaign will target the eleven most polluted areas of Alexandra, beginning with presentations and health education to raise awareness and mobilize the community to support it.

  1. […] to the next highest level. Three short meetings later Siyakhona Alexandra had presented their film on rats to the directors of every region of Gauteng. These public servants and their staff were so inspired […]

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