black river

Help Up works to clean the environment by using financial pledges to pay people to work for a few hours this improves lives and areas in need of cleaning.


Cape Town, South Africa – Help Up is an organisation that works to clean up problem areas that are littered or polluted by using pledges they receive from the public to pay people that need employment. The people are paid to work on these areas for a few hours. Help Up is managed by Georgia Mctaggart who gets stuck in with the people that help

Their most recent clean up was to clear out part of the Black River in Cape Town. The river runs through the northern parts of Cape Town and is often littered with plastic and other waste.

“When we arrived it was low tide so we had to be slow and cautious while moving through the quicksand-like mud. Even more plastic was visible with the low water levels and we could dig down and rescue the plastic layer by layer. Slow and arduous work indeed.

Carmen and Qaasim worked on the opposite bank of the river, picking up plastic about to be blown into the water from the Mowbray side, while Simmy and I had the river gig for a second day. Apart from trying not to fall over into the mud, we had to contend with perishing plastic sheeting, which we discovered buried deep in the mud so good arm workout there!”

As the tide rose, Georgia noticed that the net which is supposed to catch litter was very full and starting float away. Her hope is that the municipality responsible for emptying it will step up and take part in keeping the river clean.

“I would love to see reed beds being planted in this section of the river to assist with the filtering of hazardous bacteria from human and animal waste and the plastic collection from upstream sustainably managed by teams like ours going forward.

Reed beds cleverly placed and kept under control could prove to be a way to minimise the risk of deadly diseases such as cholera from affecting the population-there are still many people who fish on the river and the risk of contracting a water-borne disease is apparently high here (I could tell that by the smell though). We placed the bags on the field for City of Cape Town to collect and trust that this will take place tomorrow first thing. Thanks to those who pledged for our cleanups this weekend”

You can help the organisation pay for more people to work in these areas by supporting Help Up, find them on Facebook here. They require just R50.00 to pay a person for 2-hours work. Not nearly a massive amount but just enough to make a massive difference.

“Our pledges range from R50 to R150 depending on the type of clean. So for the Black River Cleanup, we pay the avatars much more than they would earn doing a street cleanup.”

Sources: Facebook
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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