1 Background

The Love Your School Campaign is a project initiated by the Northern Cape Provincial Administration, spearheaded by the Department of Education, and the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, Rural Development, Environment & Nature Conversation in the Northern Cape. The programme seeks to, amongst others, raise awareness to learners to the problem of environmental degradation which can be reversed through educating the nation and adopting sustainable measures of harvesting environmental resources with a view to create a legacy the future generations can inherit.


The Northern Cape Provincial Administration wish to encourage leaners to become ambassadors for the environment for the sake of the current and future generations. The Love for Schools, care for, and protection of, our environment has to start at a young age. It is for that reason that the Northern Cape Provincial Administration would take this pro-active step to nurture the younger generation so that they get to appreciate the importance of environmental care and protection.


2 Introduction

Primary reasons for the collaboration between the Department of Education, and the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, Rural Development, Environment & Nature Conversation is because it is entrusted with a crucial legislative mandate to ensure that all citizens within the Republic of South Africa live in a clean and healthy environment and use its resources in a sustainable manner for the benefit of current and future generations. Implementation of environmental programmes has been achieved by forging collaborations with stakeholders operating within the environmental sector, other government institutions and NGOs amongst others.


A historical backlog of waste services for, especially, urban informal areas, tribal areas and rural formal areas exacerbates the littering problem. Much progress has been made since 2002 to ensure public and environmental health and the percentage of households for which waste was removed at least once per week increased from 56,7% in 2002 to 64,9% in 2016 (StatsSA, 2018) while the percentage of households that had no facilities at all, decreased over the same period. The waste services access remains highly skewed in favour of more affluent and urban communities.


Inadequate waste services lead to unpleasant living conditions and a polluted, unhealthy environment. The 75% of South Africa’s waste is being landfilled (DEA, 2017) and minimal waste is managed through the 4Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recovery). The waste management service that mainly opt for landfill disposal goes against circular economy and the principle of cradle-to-cradle.


Waste generation is increasing with population growth and it critical to reconsider production and consumption patterns of raw materials. The consumption of packaging material is steadily increasing (BMI Research, 2017) 3389.2 tonnes in 2014, 3490.1 tonnes in 2015 and 3832.5 tonnes in 2016. Waste management requires approaches such as circular economy in altering of production patterns and reform waste management. In 2012, only 51,6% of the packaging waste materials were collected as compared to 58% in 2016 for recycling in South Africa (BMI Research, 2017). Closing the loop within the South African packaging context requires deliberate interventions directed at the 42% paradigm shifts influencing waste awareness and product designs are encouraged to take the environment into consideration to allow for the high recyclability of the resulting waste materials and elimination of waste landfilling.


3 Love Your School - Hygiene and Sanitation Programme Focuses on Sustainability

The programme seeks to improve the management and maintenance of sanitation facilities in schools and further increasing awareness of good sanitation and hygiene practices. The Love Your School Programme will take the schools sanitation programmes into the next phase because it will also focus on educating school staff and cleaners on how to keep their toilets clean on an ongoing basis as they continue to practice good hygiene habits. The Northern Cape Provincial Administration wish to see this programme on a much larger scale as a key driver for helping to improve access to better hygiene and sanitation.


Teaching and learning doesn’t involve only the teacher, but support staff and parents whose services contribute directly or indirectly to their children’s educational outcomes. During the course of day-to-day work, the school cleaners’ work seems like an endless job of cleaning school facilities that will get dirty again the next day. As true as this may be, the extent to which the school cleaners are supported to do their job can affect not only the health and safety of the children, but the morale and atmosphere of the entire school, and, to a large extent the educational outcomes of the school. Sanitation management in this programme should be shared between many people, including the principal and the general school cleaner. The Principal will be required to monitor the programme and sanitation management, and must meet with the cleaner weekly to ensure that he/she has all the resources to maintain the toilets.


The Love Your School Programme further seeks to improve lives, uplift people and develop communities. Through partnerships, we can widen the skills and resource pool so we can achieve the best results possible. The success of The Love Your School Programme will result in savings of infrastructure for upgrading sanitation, as the toilet facilities will be managed better, and in addition, increased school attendance leading to increased pass rates. Ultimately, better sanitation means less disease and improved health and well-being.


4 Littering and illegal dumping

It is quite evident that littering and illegal dumping are some of the most common problems in South Africa affecting all schools. Ineffective waste management practices can affect the well-being of the affected schools and communities and this can be further exacerbated by the increased illegal dumping and littering. Awareness raising thus is a critical component to ensure that people are aware of the impact of waste on their health, well-being and the environment.


The Northern Cape Provincial Administration has realized that more efforts are needed if the environment is to be protected from pollution and has decided on a national a Love Your School Campaign to mobilise every citizen. The aim of the Love Your School Campaign is to promote environmental actions that take into consideration sustainable living practices. What kind of legacy do we want to leave for our children, grandchildren and loved ones? Becoming environmentally conscious starts with one small action, and one small action can go on to inspire a global change. South African citizens have to work together to restore and maintain Mother Nature's majesty.


Therefore this programmes is the perfect basis to fight the environmental degradation and ensure that our country is free from litter and illegal dumps.


5 Strategic Goals and Objectives

5.1 Objectives

 The objective for this programme is to drive towards clean schools, communities and ultimately the Province which is free of litter and illegal dumping. This is a Province wide environmental programme that proposes a simple but bold blueprint for what we all can do as individuals, organisations, communities and as a nation to bring about the realisation of a cleaner and more environmentally presentable country.


The main purpose is to change people’s attitudes and behaviour towards waste and its management, as well as to begin taking charge and responsibility of keeping their neighbourhood clean. It has become evident that many current awareness initiatives lead to visually cleaner areas in the short term, they do not encourage sustainable practices that reduce littering and illegal dumping in the long run and this programme is aimed at closing that missing gap.


More emphasis is required in ensuring that the citizens now take a stand against the litter in their neighbourhoods and start to clean-up their areas. The Love Your School Programme will encourage individuals and organisations to come together to conduct clean-up centred activities across the Northern Cape Province. Municipalities together with their communities should participate in the clean-up programmes to ensure that their localities are free of illegal dumps. The Love Your School programme seeks to also encourage every inhabitant of in communities, from the Premier to the ordinary person to take part in cleaning their schools and neighbourhood, as well as ensuring that our Province is clean and free from litter and illegal dumps. Municipalities must ensure that enforcement measures are put in place such as to discourage the practice of illegal dumping.


5.2 Strategic goals

The Love Your School Campaign will be driven towards helping citizens to develop a sense of civic pride in cleaning neighbourhoods and this will eventually become a change of lifestyle to keep South Africa beautiful whether it is by denouncing simple anti-social habits of littering or major challenges in our nation.


This programme is drawn from the President’s call for Thuma Mina campaign of stewardship and citizens getting involved and the Keep South Africa Clean theme, which has been developed by the steering committee of the National Chemicals and Waste Awareness Forum.


The objective is to instil environmental friendly behaviour and create a culture in which citizenry is aware of its role in attaining a cleaner and healthy environment through:


i) Litter-free and no dumping behaviour: The SA citizenry to be made aware of the impacts of poor waste management on their health and environment as well as being taught about on proper management of their own waste to keep their surroundings clean.

 ii) Waste minimization: Encourage communities to have less waste generation rates through promoting separation at source, re-use, recycle and recovery of their waste and making available infrastructure to allow that behavioural change i.e. Buy-back centers or Drop-offs. The separation of waste at source initiative from Operation Phakisa Chemicals and Waste Economy would be used to avail recycling bins to the municipalities for use in the public spaces.

iii) Opportunities in waste: Advocate for entrepreneurship in the waste industry and access to green economy at the same time keeping our country clean. The provision of recycling bins further provides the opportunity for the manufacturing of both refuse bags intended for the collection of the recyclables at a household level and recycling bins from recyclate that would be located in municipal public spaces. The recyclables would strengthen the manufacturing industry and promote sustainable production and consumption.

iv) Introduce and implement “possible ban” on some products: Love Your School Campaign will prioritise “Litter free and no dumping behaviour” and the other areas, Waste Minimization, Opportunities in Waste and Possible ban on some products would serve to re-enforce circular economy.


 6 Waste Awareness Ambassadors

In addressing the need to have environmental awareness with the focus on waste, the Love Your School Programme should be in conjunction with the use of influential leaders, waste awareness ambassadors and volunteers that will be identified within the Love Your School programme. These ambassadors will support all the Love Your School initiatives in all communities and schools. The proposed waste awareness ambassadors should pledge their support for the Love Your School programme.


They will inspire, educate and influence communities to change their attitudes and behaviour towards waste and its management. They will also be advocates of helping South African citizens’ gain better understanding and knowledge of proper waste management. The Premier and all Members of the Executive Council in the Northern Cape Provincial Administration will be the main Ambassadors. The Director General, all Deputy Director Generals, Heads of Departments and Senior Managers of the Northern Cape Provincial Administration are also expected to adopt schools where they will be deployed and serve as ambassadors.


7 Passionate teacher

The Department of Education has adopted a strategy to include environmentally themed curriculums. When schools register with the programme, they commit to improving environmental learning and action through the curriculum. Relevant themes are chosen by the learners and teachers, lesson plans are developed and school improvement plans and records of their progress are collected in a portfolio. Some notable achievements include a food garden, which uses only elements of nature to grow vegetables and fruits. Schools must also get learners and teachers to recycle waste. The schools must identify passionate teacher on the environment affairs with the focus on keeping the school clean. This is because a need has been identified to cultivate environmental awareness among the learners and the staff at schools. This can be expanded towards teachers with passion on school food gardening.


8 Waste material

The resourceful educator must help the learners to participate in environmental market-day competitions where the learners showcase their goods made from waste material. Learners must be taught that money can be made from waste and these competitions also will also allow us to network with other schools around the country. Learners are yearning for knowledge, it’s therefore important to know how to get the information across. Picking up litter is seen as punishment for children who misbehave, but if you motivate them, they will understand how a cleaner environment would benefit them. “Don’t put out negative messages about the environment, rather tell them if the gardens in the schools are kept clean, they could have lessons outdoors”.


9 Love Your School Activations and Launch activities

The programme will be launched by the Premier of the Northern Cape Province, and the activation will be expedited by all Members of the Executive Council in the Northern Cape Provincial Administration. All Director General, all Deputy Director Generals, Heads of Departments and Senior Managers of the Northern Cape Provincial Administration are equally expected deployed and are expected to adopt schools such schools.