Jul 15, 2018


Cape Town residents kicked off Africa’s Biggest Cleanup Event on 14 July, when they came out in numbers to clean the streets of Langa.

They were joined by like-minded Nigerians who took part in a total of 45 different cleanup events in Nigeria on the same day as well as Ugandans who cleaned the streets of Kampala and Entebbe.

Johannesburg's 400-strong cleanup crew took up the challenge on 15 July around the Kgotso Sports Ground in Phiri, Soweto and collected more than 700 bags of waste. Soccer star and former Soweto resident, Siphiwe Tshabalala, were among those picking up rubbish in his old neighbourhood. The Siphiwe Tshabalala Foundation partnered with Shoprite to host this cleanup. 

Africa's Biggest Cleanup Event in Soweto
“Partnering with Shoprite to clean my old neighbourhood was a no-brainer. It’s a real privilege to give back to the community that nurtured me as I was growing up.”

- Siphiwe Tshabalala


These cleanups together with others taking place across South Africa and neighbouring countries like Namibia, Botswana and Angola, is part of a bigger movement facilitated by the Shoprite Group as it stages Africa’s Biggest Cleanup Event. More than 500 events involving 6 000 people across 11 African countries are taking place between 14 and 18 July 2018.

Africa’s biggest cleanup in full swing

The retailer together with Brownie Points developed a digital platform,, which anyone can use to organise a cleanup or participate in one. This platform will exist beyond 18 July so that people continue getting together to clean up their communities.

The Shoprite Group is committed to reducing waste in its everyday operations and has a zero waste-to-landfill approach. In 2013, it became the first South African retailer to introduce shopping bags made from 100% recycled plastic in its Checkers stores. Today these bags are also available at Shoprite and Usave supermarkets countrywide.

“With Africa's Biggest Cleanup Event, we hope to start addressing the root cause of the plastic problem, which is human behaviour.”

- Lunga Schoeman, CSI spokesperson for Shoprite


Recycler Packa-ching was at the Langa cleanup event and ensured that as few items as possible went to the city’s landfills. Packa-ching makes recycling easier with its mobile buy-back centre that travels to communities to buy recyclables from them. Those who bring material do not get paid in cash, instead money is loaded on a Kilorands card that can be used at any outlet that accepts Mastercards.

“Another aim with these cleanups is to create awareness of the earning opportunities presented by waste. One of the key messages we hope to convey with this campaign is that there is value in waste - that opportunities exist where many just see rubbish.”

- Lunga Schoeman


Africa’s biggest cleanup in full swing

The Shoprite Group’s drive to stage the biggest African cleanup is endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme and the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA).

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