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Local residents are getting their hands dirty to clean up Pinetown


Local residents are getting their hands dirty to clean up Pinetown

Category Community

Once the main wagon route between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, the leafy town of Pinetown has a long and proud history. Since its establishment in 1850 as a small German settlement and later named after Sir Benjamin Pine, Governor of Natal from 1873-75, Pinetown has grown into one of Durban's most important industrial centres, and become a popular residential area with highly sought-after suburbs. Known for its fine climate, scenic nature reserves, and its tree-lined streets and parks, Pinetown has always offered its residents value-for-money homes, good schools, shopping complexes and sporting facilities. 

Business owners and residents have always been proud of their town and have a long tradition of keeping their offices, homes, verges and gardens well-maintained and cared for. However, the same can't be said for the public spaces of Pinetown that have, over the years, gradually started to lose their beauty and have become unkempt and riddled with litter and garbage. 

Restoring Pinetown to its former glory
Frustrated with the situation, local Cowies Hill residents Sherryl Galvin and Zane Welensky partnered together and decided to set a plan in motion after the DA ward councillor, Melanie Brauteseth, suggested that some action needed to be taken. In May 2022 they appealed to the local community on social media and a group chat for volunteers to participate in a neighbourhood cleanup. To their surprise, in less than three days, over 70 residents had volunteered. With the support and assistance of Kim Du Toit from the Cowies Hill Estate, and Liesel Muhl from Keep Westville Beautiful, the proactive duo launched Keep Pinetown Beautiful - a non-profit organisation that is on a mission to take Pinetown back and make it, once again, a safe, beautiful and prosperous neighbourhood for all.    
Welensky explained that all stakeholders hope to make the suburb a safe and clean environment in which to live, work and shop again. "We would like to restore Pinetown to its former glory and instil a sense of responsibility in each resident and business to maintain our public spaces and keep Pinetown beautiful," says Welensky. 

The first of many neighbourhood cleanups
On Saturday 28 May 2022, Keep Pinetown Beautiful hosted its first cleanup of the littered fields of Cowies Hill Park, adjacent to Sandy Centre. A team of resident volunteers showed up on the day with their gloves in hand and managed to fill over 100 bin bags of rubbish. The litter was mostly packaging strewn about, but it was evident that the deterioration of the surroundings had led to the park becoming a makeshift dumping ground for those who wanted to get rid of old or broken household items. 

An appeal to local businesses
Welensky and Galvin have also started to appeal to local businesses to support the new community initiative and get actively involved in the restoration of the area. To date, SPAR (Sandy Centre), Kelden Auto Complete, Autogas SA, CMH Commercial UD Trucks Pinetown, CMH Datcentre Motors Pinetown, Eventtiming, Design Origin Everything In Print, Klaus Fritsch Plumbers, 4 Seasons Garden Service, Mac J's Plumbers, Cooke & Son Manufacturing and Shelley Residential have heeded the call to partner with the organisation. 

"We are thrilled to have joined Keep Pinetown Beautiful in its mission to clean up the wonderful suburb we call home," said Scott Allnatt, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Shelley Residential. "As a local property and business owner in the area, we don't only have a social responsibility to get involved, but we have an invested interest that we need to protect and grow. Operating and selling homes in a beautiful, clean, well-maintained neighbourhood benefits all. Not only does it reduce pollution and help improve the stormwater drainage, but it also creates a great first impression, brings the community together, instils pride in residents and drives up property values."  

Continuing the good work 
Welensky says the organisation is planning regular cleanups to keep on par with the good work being done in neighbouring communities. With plans like implementing mini "Welcome to Pinetown" gardens in key spots, and a significant increase in security awareness and maintenance of public spaces the organisation hopes to uplift home values and inspire a sense of pride in having a clean and safe environment. 

"We have to make a difference because it's the right thing to do. Sometimes, knowing is not enough. We need to take action to cause a reaction," Welensky concluded.

The power for change
American author, Margaret J. Wheatley once said, "There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about." So, if you're a resident or business owner who cares about the neighbourhood and wants to get involved by advocating, volunteering or donating to this worthy cause, please contact Zane Welensky on 072 393 0999 or visit

Author Shelley Residential
Published 23 Jun 2022 / Views -

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