For over ten years, the Jukskei River – which remains Johannesburg’s largest river, has endured extensive pollution from chemical toilets, kitchen waste, human excreta, and detergents. Many homes have been built on the riverbanks, further aggravating these circumstances. Consequently, the river poses health hazards to the community, in addition, the informal settlement located closer to the river frequently experiences floods during heavy rains.
Managing director of the non-profit organisation, Khulisa Social Solutions, Lesley Ann van Selm, stresses, “If not addressed effectively, these issues may degenerate into unrecoverable losses. While few suggestions have been made to resolve outstanding issues around the Jukskei River, only a few actions have been taken to solve the problem.
“This is why we believe the support of the community, municipality, and local businesses will bring about solutions that will help bring material change and ensure that the dreams of the Alexandra community can finally be realised.”
Khulisa together with the Alexandra Water Sanitation Environment Community Forum recently hosted a Jukskei River enterprise design thinking workshop. The workshop was attended by government and municipal representatives, members of the community, and a host of invested stakeholders in the Jukskei River who are keen to see tangible solutions.
Outcomes of the design workshops will be presented to stakeholders at the inaugural Jukskei River Imbizo which is set to take place on Monday, 21 November 2022. Included in the event will be feedback of initial Environmental Restorative Justice mediations in Alex, linked to the Jukskei, in celebration on International Restorative Justice week which runs from the 20th to the 26th of November every year.
“The future of Jukskei River is in our hands, and equally, the health and safety of the Alexandra community depends heavily on this natural resource, so we have the responsibility to influence their future for the better. We look forward to celebrating our successes together soon,” concludes van Selm.
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