We tend to complain a lot about the state of our suburbs, but how many of us have actually made a concerted effort to clean up the streets and parks in our neighbourhoods?
Clean Village is a registered non-profit organization solely devoted to creating employment and cleaning up the streets of Kensington, and they’re doing a sterling job of it!
The organisation was started when Sue Retallack and Michael Blake decided to formalise the work that Sue had already been doing in Kensington for some time removing ‘penis enlargement’ and ‘abortion’ stickers from electrical boxes all over the suburb and taking down illegal advertising boards nailed to trees and tied to traffic light poles.
“We started a PBO company and found Kevin Pass to join our motley crew as the third director of the company. Our main objective was to stop complaining about the state of things but to actually DO something about it. We simply refused to sit by and watch our suburb slide down the drain.” says Sue.
Clean Village slowly gained traction in the community and has picked up some regular sponsors from the community and from KRRA (Kensington Residents and Ratepayers Association) and a few businesses.
“We employed 3 previously unemployed people and started by working once a week funded solely by Michael Blake and Kevin Pass’s own businesses,” Sue continued.
Sue runs the day to day operations of Clean Village and Michael Blake handles all the administration of the company.
“We increased the number of days we work as funds permitted and have just started working four times a week and still employ the same 3 people we started with – Nomsa , Cavin and Tovias. We work in the main thoroughfares of Kensington removing weeds, cutting grass, clearing litter and sweeping the sidewalks – basically transforming the look and feel of Kensington.”
One of the most important functions Clean Village performs is the reporting and tracking of service delivery issues from water leaks to missing stormwater drain covers and anything in between. Sue Tweets constantly (@cleanvillage) and is able to hold the JRA, Pikitup, Jhb Water and City Parks to account by tracking reference numbers of issues reported and not resolved. This in itself is a mammoth task.
Clean Village NPO continued working in Queen St in Kensington today clearing weeds and cleaning the sidewalks. When last did you see such clean streets ? @MyJRA @HermanMashaba @CleanerJoburg @CityofJoburgZA #cleanstreets #savekensington #cleansafestreets #happiness pic.twitter.com/EhPjYot8ar
— Clean Village 2094 (@CleanVillage) April 10, 2018
“We have big dreams for Clean Village and would love to get to a point where we can employ more people, cover larger areas and eventually be able to make a difference in our neighbouring suburbs like Malvern, Bez Valley and Troyville. I would love to see this model rolled out across Johannesburg – it’s simple and it works,” Sue concluded.
Clean Village would like to extend their heartfelt appreciation to all their donors, the residents of Kensington who support them and to the Kensington Residents and Ratepayers Association for their generosity.
The best way people can support Clean Village is to sponsor the initiative with a monthly donation no matter how big or small. Take a look at their website www.cleanvillage.co.za, where their regular business donors are listed.