… in his own time, at no cost whatsoever, we might add. When local Jay Margolis shared a story of a homeless man cleaning up a Cape Town beach in Bantry Bay, the post soon went viral. In his post, he describes seeing Siyabulela Dan Magobiyane collecting trash off the beach. He stopped to talk to Siyabulela, and was soon even more impressed with the 28 year old’s mission to keep Cape Town’s beaches safe, clean and inviting. Here is Siyabulela’s story, as told by Jay.
“So this afternoon I was in Bantry Bay waiting for a client to arrive and I see this chap putting two big bags into the rubbish bin. Fifteen minutes later, he arrives with another two big bags of rubbish and puts them in the bin…
When I come back, 45 minutes later, I see him filling another two big packets and wait for him to have a chat.
Turns out, “he’s embarrassed about the pollution, and wants the beaches looking good for the tourists, and for the sea.” He hasn’t been asked to do this, and doesn’t have a job. He goes on to tell me that he cleans the beaches every day, and for no reason other than he wants to “make the place nice.”
Caring for Cape Town Beaches is Important
Blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the Mother City has two coastlines – one on the Atlantic Ocean and the other on the Indian Ocean. The Atlantic Seaboard comprises a number of beaches that include Bantry Bay along with Camps Bay, Clifton 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th and many others. A number of the city’s beaches have designated Blue Flag status. But even with that status, without people like Siyabulela dedicating their time and effort into keeping our beaches clean and beautiful, litter is a major problem.
It is not just an aesthetic problem, either. Plastic bags, bottles and other debris often ends up floating out into the ocean, where it puts countless marine species at risk. Seals are injured when they are tangled up in plastic and string and rope. Sea birds get trapped by floating plastic. Fish also come into contact with items that will never naturally bio-degrade, and as a result of pollution, the ocean is affected.
From a tourism point of view, beaches that are littered with plastic bags, beer bottles and debris do not make for an inviting sight, either. On the Atlantic Seaboard, beaches such as Bantry Bay are firmly in the spotlight, with many visitors driving past or stopping at this beach.
While council workers do their best to ensure that every part of the city is kept clean and tidy, it is the people who are willing to devote their own time and effort into helping who often make all the difference. We need more people like this in the world!
Because we are all for people who love our city as much as we do, we want to support Siyabulela in his quest to make the world a little better every day, one beach clean up at a time. We would also like to encourage our readers to learn from his example. If we all started looking around us to see how our communities, spaces, beaches, parks and other areas could be improved, we could do our bit to make our city a little more amazing. Whether that means picking up litter you see in the street, or devoting a free day to cleaning up a beach or outdoor space in your area, every bit helps.
What do you say – are you ready to join me in making Cape Town as beautiful as possible? And, would you like to get involved in our mission to support Siyabulela and his beach cleaning efforts?