MARAPONG — A group of community members gathered in Marapong on 11 July for a monthly meeting, hosted by Earthlife Africa (ELA), to discuss environmental justice.
Joshua Hlapa, Manager at the Lephalale Municipality Waste Department, and Winny Baloyi, an intern from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) attended the meeting.
Hlapa explained the challenges within the local municipality as there are no environmental officers, air quality officer, etc. He said it is impossible to do due diligence toward the environment without assistance. A lot of questions about air quality and waste disposal were discussed.
Hlapa also gave a very stern talk about the serious problem of littering. He feels very passionately about the impacts of waste and illegal dumping in the communities. He warned against the health hazards and dangers of rubbish lying around, from industrial to domestic.
Baloyi discussed the issue of recycling in finer detail. Some groups are already involved with recycling, and others also want to get involved. Hlapa also announced the forming of a Waste Management Forum in August and invited the groups to be part of it.
Mr Mhlogonolo Molefe, a Master’s Degree holder in Zoology, and member of the Lephalale Going Green (LGG) movement discussed the efforts to keep Lephalale clean. As a son of Lephalale, his personal story was inspiring, and the groups were eager to speak to him.
Feedback was given on various public participation meetings, workshops, etc. that was held on environmental issues.
Climate change was also discussed. Scientists believe that if emissions are not reduced and habits changed, there will be less than twelve years left to save the planet.