Rights and duties are interdependent. Rights refer to duties that we must carry out, and the duties we practice in daily life protect our rights.

As human beings, we have rights and responsibilities as well.

It is our responsibility to protect other people and nature, which provides us numerous rights.

As the owner of rights, we should think about our responsibility to protect them and act for them.

Now is time to take action, where we are.

On October 11, 2022, a cleanup was conducted by about 100 university students from the University of Johannesburg, the University of the Witwatersrand, and the University of Pretoria. In this voluntary work, many citizens and officials took part, including the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, the MMC for Environment, Infrastructure and Service Delivery, and the Councilor for Ward 26.

The cleanup was carried out in Soweto which has the population of more than one million people.

Soweto is a township of the City of Johannesburg. As it has developed into a semi-urban area with amenities, illegal dumping sites have emerged, and this became a social issue.

Councilor Michael Sun said the removal of illegal dumping sites could help a lot in securing a budget for other welfare projects. He said the garbage that you dump carelessly might be violating the basic rights of education and medical care that others should enjoy.

Mayor of Johannesburg Dr. Mpho Phalatse emphasized that a clean environment is one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and that citizens of Johannesburg have a right to a clean environment. She complimented ASEZ university students for taking the lead in raising awareness and taking action for the residents to protect the right.

An ASEZ member of the University of Johannesburg, Zubenathi Sotashe said, “I once thought that there weren’t many things I could do to solve the problems that the countries and regions faced. However, through today’s voluntary work, I felt once again that no one can participate unless I participate first.”

Simphiwe Maseko, a student at the same university, said, “A bright and better future for all human beings starts from today’s individual thoughts and actions,” asking everyone to participate.

We have the right to enjoy clean environments, and protecting clean environments can be also regarded as our right.

It is because protecting the rights of nature and other people is closely related to protecting our rights.

We hope that ASEZ’s Greenship activities, which are to fulfill our environmental responsibilities and duties, will go forward as a step to protect our rights.