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NEARLY 3 800 bags of litter have been collected at four beaches in KwaZulu-Natal as part of a massive beach clean-up campaign.
The initiative is part of the annual Vodacom Beach Clean-Up campaign, which ensures that South Africa's most popular and busy beaches are litter-free during the festive period.
Now in its fifth year, the campaign kicked off in mid-December last year and will end on Thursday.
The 23-day project involves 120 cleaners and 12 supervisors deployed at 12 of South Africa's busiest beaches and working in conjunction with municipal cleansing teams to keep the coastline clean and safe.
One supervisor and 10 cleaners have been posted at beaches in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape to enhance the festive experience for holidaymakers.
In KwaZulu-Natal the clean-up took place at Scottburgh, Ballito, Westbrook and Umdloti, while in the Eastern Cape the Orient Beach, Wells Estate, Jeffrey's Bay and Port St John's were cleaned up.
In Western Cape, Muizenberg, Mnandi, Hout Bay, and Camps Bay were targeted for cleaning.
At Ballito cleaners hauled a total of 468 bags of rubbish off the beach during the first six days of the campaign.
In total 3795 bags of litter have been collected at the four KwaZulu-Natal beaches.
Litter supervisor Mdu Mbanjwa said the clean-up proved very successful since locals were slowly starting to clean up their spots when leaving the beach.
"You still have a few who refuse to use a bin even if it's staring them in the face, Mbanjwa said.
"But we have been working well generally with the community."
As usual, the clean-up involved clearing up mainly chip packets, bottles and cigarette stubs.
Palesa Chabula of Vodacom corporate communications said the Beach Clean-Up campaign was something to be proud of.
"With benefits that range from improving tourists' experiences, making the coastal areas safer and cleaner for both humans and marine animals, providing employment opportunities to previously unemployed individuals and boosting the coastal economy, the clean-up campaign has become synonymous with an enjoyable holiday for both locals and visitors on the coast," she said.