Wild Coast learners want a cleaner environment

Wild Coast learners want a cleaner environment

Pupils from Ithuba Wild Coast Community College join a three kilometre clean-up walk in Mzamba to drive home a recycling message in the broader community. Mlu Mdletshe reports

First published by South Coast Herald

It’s like it’s invisible and there’s a fight raging to get young people to see it.

We are talking about litter and the battle being fought at a progressive KZN South Coast school catering for many Eastern Cape learners.

Last week pupils from Ithuba Wild Coast Community College joined a three kilometre clean-up walk.

Pristine area

The primary school overlooks the Mzamba River and is not far from sandstone and limestone deposits containing fossils dating back 80 million years.

It’s an area of great natural beauty. The school’s managing director, Jackie du Toit, would like to keep it that way by encouraging pupils to take responsibility.

Discarded chip packets are among sources of pollution near the pristine Mzamba river, says Grade 7 learner, Oyama Ngilishi, of Ithuba Wild Coast Community College. Photo Mlu Mdletshe

Du Toit introduced the clean-up walks in 2011. The school has been running them regularly ever since.

“We fight every day to teach kids to pick up litter at school as they do not seem to even see it. I hope it is sinking in,” says Du Toit.

Helping collect litter, Grade 7 prefect, Gysel Smith, said young people in all schools should work together for a more eco-friendly environment.

“When we all use bins for our litter it can be recycled to make more products in the future,” said Smith.

Grade 7 learners from Ithuba Wild Coast Community College, Gysel Smith (left) and Asonwabe Mpinda, help fight the battle against pollution in the broader Mzamba community. Photo: Mlu Mdletshe

Mzamba resident Mtinalabi Mofokeng was impressed.

“It is lovely to see such amazing work done by a school. When I was at school our teachers didn’t have the time to educate us about caring for our environment,” said Mofokeng.


The school was founded in 2011 with funding from Austria. It now has 306 pupils from grade R to 7.

Pupils walk the Mzamba footbridge, also funded by  Austrian association s2arch – social and sustainable architecture. Photo Jackie du Toit


In 2014, the school joined the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa’s Eco-Schools programme, an international initiative developed to support environmental learning in the classroom.

Pupils are encouraged to take care and be conscious of environmental issues, with the programme linked to the school’s curriculum.

  • This story forms part of Roving Reporters training project, Developing Environmental Watchdogs, supported by the Human Elephant Foundation and Grindrod Bank



Ithuba Wild Coast Community College get active in cleaning up the environment. Pupils (from front) Iviwe Blaii, Mfundo Tshezi and Xola Dweba. Photo: Jackie du Toit

About Author

Mlu Mdletshe

Mluleki 'number5' Mdletshe is a Durban University of Technology journalism graduate taking part in Roving Reporters' training programme: Developing Environmental Watchdogs. Mlu hails from rural Zululand. "I grew up thinking the sun turns black people into white," says Mlu. "The greatest lessons I learnt about life came from my incredibly huge family, my teachers and Mitch Albom's Tuesdays With Morrie. I hope to live long enough to produce a film or write a book about the most beautiful place I know- Mabibi, where I grew up. My interests include playing sports, photography, listening to music and mostly reading and writing."