Business Eswatini CEO E. Nathi Dlamini said companies should consider dedicating at least an hour on Friday of each week to cleaning up and protecting the environment.
He made these remarks in a clean-up event help in Mbabane Corporation by Mqolo Primary School. At the same clean-up event, Mqolo Primary School pupils and the elderly from the community were gifted with love packs in recognition of Valentines. Dlamini stated that after the clean-up which was showing love for the environment in solidarity with the community, Business Eswatini was very happy to show love for the people of the area.
The event featured the prominent figures from the business sector including
He encouraged all companies in Eswatini to dedicate at least 50 hours a year or a minimum of one hour a week for voluntary cleanliness work and environmental stewardship.
“This would spark a paradigm shift and a change of attitude among communities regarding waste and littering, whilst encouraging citizens to embrace a cleanliness culture through awareness, ownership, and action. Such an exercise would also provide captains of business with the opportunity to lead by example and make a positive change in the community,” Dlamini said.
“By embracing such small, yet significant steps the private sector will be contributing to a multi-level improvement in Eswatini’s general health and wellness. As Business Eswatini we will contribute to changing the deep-rooted habits around littering and cleanliness practices.”
Dlamini encouraged businesses to commit to, and deliver on actions to protect the environment through innovation in the production pipeline, product design, packaging, and distribution, measuring and reporting activities to reduce single-use plastic litter and microplastics; and working with partners to raise the profile of this issue with their clients and customers.
Dlamini was addressing captains of business, volunteers, and residents, after leading a Valentines Day clean-up campaign organised by Yibutse Green !ction, an environmental organisation, at Corporation area, in the sprawling Msunduza township in Mbabane. The event was the second leg of Yibutse clean-up campaigns sponsored by Business Eswatini and her members including Montigny Investments, Premier Eswatini and Talanta.co Management Consultants.
More than 80 refuse bags of litter, comprising mainly of empty bottles of alcoholic beverages, single-use plastic garbage, COVID-19 waste such as facemasks, gloves, and paper were removed from the streets and deposited, at the Municipal Council of Mbabane’s waste disposal facilities. These will be recycled.
Business Eswatini Vice-president for Trade and Commerce, Fikile Nkosi who made remarks on behalf of the employer federation said that climate change is one of the most important and emerging issues that Business Eswatini is focussing on. She pointed out that Eswatini is party to the Paris agreement in which we made a commitment to remarkably reduce our carbon footprint. She also recognised Yibutse Green Action for the initiatives they have started in line with BE.
“As Business Eswatini we thank Yibutse Green action for its leadership role and consistency in its mission to achieve a cleaner, safer, and more prosperous Eswatini. We will continue to support Yibutse as it involves volunteers, residents, and other stakeholders in its green activities and clean-up campaigns across the country. This was long overdue as it inculcates a civic sense among communities,” said Nkosi.
She noted that achieving a clean Eswatini was not an overnight thing, but emphasised the importance of starting and maintaining momentum in what can be done now towards solving the garbage crisis.
Musa Ndlangamandla, the Founder and Executive Director of Yibutse Green !ction said the private sector was a critical player in the war against indiscriminate littering. He added that Business Eswatini, and the entire private sector, were intrinsically linked to the success of ongoing efforts to clean up Eswatini, particularly in ridding the country of the menace of single-use plastic waste.
“Yibutse’s pillar goal is to bring together different sectors of the community to act as one, in being good stewards of the environment and achieve a cleaner Eswatini,” Ndlangamandla said.
“It is encouraging to see the deliberate positive actions taken by Business Eswatini and its members in being part of the solution to the littering pandemic and environmental degradation that Eswatini faces.”
“More and more businesses see the value of responsive corporate citizenship and the role they must play as an enabling stakeholder in environmental stewardship which should be vigorously encouraged and even incentivised by government.”
He added: “Yibutse knows that government cannot fight and win this battle against indiscriminate littering alone. That is why we encourage shared responsibilities and a multi-stakeholder setting in caring for the environment through proper waste management efforts.”
Ndlangamandla said whilst building the best waste management systems takes resources, right planning, and execution, the biggest challenge is addressing public apathy, the lack of motivation and discipline to individually participate in reducing and properly disposing of waste.
“Yibutse, with support from our sponsors and donors, is working to close that gap. We must continue to work together for a cleaner, safer and prosperous Eswatini,” Ndlangamandla said.
“We want to ensure that private enterprises, public entities, municipalities, civil society and communities support government programmes and are fully engaged and included.”
Tiyamike Maziya, a leading local artist and businessman thanked Yibutse for its green activities and providing an opportunity for communities to clean up their surroundings.
“We are encouraged by the efforts to replicate such activities across the country. Working together we can restore the beauty, health, and prosperity of our communities,” Maziya said.