Minister Pierre Uys, minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, has called on all people to assist in the battle to keep the water off our coast free from plastic debris that harm all kinds of marine life, including the gentle giants of the deep, whales.
Minister Uys's plea coincides with the highlight of the whale season and the annual Whale Festival in Hermanus as well as the coastal and marine programmes of his department.
Too many whales are still getting caught up in all kinds of debris along our coast line. Some animals also die because they may digest drifting plastic as it may be seen as food. All efforts should be made to make our coast safer for our visiting whale friends and all other life forms.
A perpetual problem with undesirable debris exists. Many of our people's daily activities, from not properly disposing of garbage or even littering, can impact on the plants and animals along our shores.
"The debris, like scattered fragments, packaging material, crayfish traps, broken nets, ropes or lines and drift wreckages, consist mainly of plastic that can harm or kill organisms. Solving our water pollution requires everyone's involvement," Minister Uys said.
The Coastal Management team of the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in partnership with District Municipalities last week was involved with beach clean-ups (15 to 19 September 2008).
Various schools and learners helped cleaning up polluted areas along the extensive Cape coast line in order to increase public awareness and appreciation of the coastal environment.
"My Government and I thank every citizen and volunteer who help unselfishly to make our coast a safer area for all to use," Minister Uys said.
Enquiries: Cobus Grobler (media officer) 073 133 7299
Minister Uys 082 4555 144