On World Cleanup Day, September 18, residents of Alexandra Township in Johannesburg joined forces to rid the Jukskei River of trash.

This year, 50 million volunteers from more than 180 countries participated in World Cleanup Day on September 18, collecting tons of plastics and other polluting materials found in nature. For the residents of Alexandra Township in Johannesburg, the operation focused on the Jukskei River, a vital artery for their community. The Jukskei River is one of the most important and iconic waterways in the city of Johannesburg. It originates near the city center, flows through the suburbs along the eastern edge of the city, and then becomes a tributary of the Crocodile River further downstream. Its waters eventually flow into the Indian Ocean. 

Jukskei: as polluted as it is iconic

The river is a source of water to drink, but also a natural space in which the children of the district could bathe and play. Unfortunately, the state of pollution of the river has made this impossible over time … The will of volunteers, combined with municipal work, has helped to remedy this in part. The volunteers, who are highly motivated to continue their efforts, are convinced that the pollution of their river is not inevitable and that it can, with the investment of the entire community, gradually return to its natural state. Even if the level of insalubrity remains very high on the major part of its course, the organizers of this cleaning day demonstrated that the challenge could be taken up and that by repeating the operation as many times as necessary, we would eventually reach the ultimate goal: to eliminate all traces of pollution from the waters of the Jukskei. 

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