The first seven Call-2-Action workers got down to work on Monday, 17 November, cleaning up the first of the initiative’s four pilot areas, Settlers Way.
After a series of over 20 weekly meetings held by Call-2-Action stakeholders in preparation for the roll out of this project, work commenced early on Monday, much to the delight of project manager, Saskia Haardt.
“Certainly, it’s exciting. It’s good to see, and I want to see more of it. I want to see that it is working well, but I think we now have to take lessons and know what we may have left out in the concept,” said Haardt.
The Call-2-Action initiative was started as a collective business response to the challenges they face within the city, and it is financed solely through donations from businesses. It also sought to collaborate with the City to establish a common vision between the city and business, and also ensure the sustainability of the project.
Settlers Way, which serves as the main entrance into the City from the East London airport, is one of four areas that Call-2-Action identified as crucial for refinement in the Buffalo City Metro region. Other pilot areas are Southernwood, Oxford Street and Western Avenue, and the Quigney area.
Seven workers have been sourced from the communities along Settlers Way with the assistance of their ward Councillors. The team of seven is made up of three males, and four females. Given that the project is rolled out in all four pilot areas, it will provide employment to at least 28 individuals from these pilot areas.
“Bekumdaka kakhulu apha (the place was really dirty). We’re going to make a huge difference to the area. So far we’ve already picked up rubbish, papers, bottles and other stuff that was blocking water on the side of the road,” said Luvo Klaas, one of the workers.
Klaas also said that they are happy that such a project has been initiated and he hopes it will not end any time soon because finding work has been quite challenging.
Waste collection is simply the beginning of what Call-2-Action has planned as part of their collaboration with the city. Plans to set up pilot site offices and waste drop-off stations at each pilot area are currently underway. With the help of designers and engineers, Call-2-Action will bring an exciting edge to waste collection.
Saskia Haardt, who has been heading the project from its inception, said that she hopes more businesses will heed the call to action and pledge any form of support they can for the initiative to thrive.