By Emily Setona
Kestell – Residents of Kestell took time out to clean their town, in line with the spirit of solidarity inspired by Freedom Day, a public holiday that commemorates the liberation of South Africa and the ushering in of democracy.
“In the good old days, as part of the Basotho culture, there was a community outreach initiative called ‘Letsema’. People would lend a helping hand to community members who were struggling in one way or another. With today’s initiative, we are going back to basics,” said Thato Sempe, a local businessman who contributed his time, tools and heavy duty equipment to clean up the town.
A group of volunteers led by Moses Moloi, a resident who came up with the clean-up idea, worked with their brooms and spades to clean up Van Rensburg Street.
“After cleaning the tennis courts on Human Rights Day I felt that this is an exercise that deserves to be upheld. IO grew up in Kestell and I remember it as a clean and inviting town. But today our streets are dirty and there is no one to clean them. So I thought if not us then who? Every Saturday we invite the community to join us in this project to uplift our town,” Moloi said.
Another resident Phomolo Mokuele who has lived in Kestell for 20 years, had this to say about this initiative: “I am very delighted that the young people in our community have decided to clean our town. Our town has been slowly deteriorating and this is not good for tourists. I am here participating in the clean-up operation because I would like Kestell to stand out like Clarens.”
Those who took part in the clean-up shared the sentiments of Mike Van Rooyen who said “charity begins at home, so we must first clean our own community before wanting to change anything else in our local municipality.”
Ward councilor Japie Mokoena also joined the fray to support his community.