CAPE TOWN: Sea Harvest, the Khayelitsha Canoe Club, community members and EcoBrick Exchange have partnered to clean-up the Khayelitsha Wetlands Park in celebration of “Clean-Up & Recycle SA Week” from 16 to 21 September. The event was also aimed at creating awareness around plastic and other items polluting the City of Cape Town’s waterways, which eventually enters the ocean through the river network.
Sea Harvest Strategic Services Executive, Madoda Khumalo, says, “Sea Harvest is excited to be partnering with two social entrepreneurs, Siyanda Sopangisa and Ian Domissee. This is our first collaboration with Siyanda, who is the founder of the Khayelitsha Canoe Club and we are expectant about what we will achieve with this new relationship. Sustainability or acting responsibly, along with driving transformation, are two of the values that define how we operate as a business, not only in terms of how we harvest marine resources but how we manage our business and respond to various challenges that are posing a threat to our planet. We are constantly looking for innovative ways to reduce our impact on the environment.”
Sopangisa says, “The main idea behind the formation of the Khayelitsha Canoe Club was to clean the wetland area; it took my brother and I two years until we could see some change doing that in an old boat. In late 2014, when we got our first set of boats, which we used for training and the club started growing. We now train kids from the age of 10 years until 15 years. We have about 40 children paddling with us for free; the only thing we want them to do is pick up the rubbish in and around the wetlands and then they can paddle.”
At the start of the clean-up, Sea Harvest donated a new canoe to the Khayelitsha Canoe Club to help ensure that it is able to continue its efforts to encourage local youth to keep their environment clean and perhaps get them interested in canoeing.