A sponsorship injection from SPAR Eastern Cape is poised to boost the Keep Plett Clean campaign, a project started by concerned Plettenberg Bay residents three years ago.
To ensure the popular tourist town maintained a high standard of cleanliness to keep bringing visitors back, local resident of 21 years Alison Bryant initiated the campaign in February, 2014.
She said it had started with a small group of residents and had now gained momentum, with many locals involved.
“The campaign is focused on working with the municipality, not only to keep the CBD neat and tidy, but to ensure the town’s tourist image is not harmed,” said Bryant.
“We hope it helps visitors come back to our town and encourages others to visit. In this way everyone benefits and jobs can be created.”
KWIKSPAR Beacon Isle owner Duncan Brown, who moved back to Plett in 2013 after spending four years in George, immediately noticed its effect.
From small beginnings he gradually became more involved through the SPAR ethos of giving back to the community.
“After assisting with a number of donations for the last few years I felt we should try to assist them more by providing the essentials to do the job,” said Brown.
They received the green from SPAR Eastern Cape head office in Port Elizabeth, which will take their involvement further.
“It fitted in with their Choose Local campaign and it was agreed we would assist it from now on as a SPAR initiative,” said Brown.
“It also ties in with our community involvement because we try to support local business as much as possible.
“Everything we source for the campaign, such as bicycles and various equipment, comes from local outlets.”
Brown said he had no doubt the Keep Plett Clean drive had been a success.
“I have driven through many regions and seen a lot of rubbish and litter lying around. But drive through Plett and you will find it spotless.
“There is a sense of urgency about it. If someone complains about litter in a certain area, you will immediately find 10 people there cleaning it up.”
Bryant said their main objective was to create awareness among the public about the importance of keeping the town clean.
“We encourage the public to look after the verges on their properties because the municipality cannot cover the whole town,” she said.
“We have two employees who assist us and, as a group, we decide each week where to meet to keep the town clean.”
Bryant said they operated alongside the municipality and were in close communication with the officials to create a “healthy working relationship”.
“We want it to continue to grow and to become a model of effective public and municipal collaboration.”
She said they would be using SPAR EC’s backing to move into surrounding areas.
“We hope to create more employment and we also want to educate the schools and get them on board.
“It’s all about giving back to the community and that’s what everyone should do.”
She has set up WhatsApp and Facebook (Clean up Plett Campaign) groups to keep everyone informed of their operations.