JOHANNESBURG – September 29, 2017 - In September, Konica Minolta South Africa (KMSA), a division of Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd., and Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA), committed to plant 1810 trees in three provinces across South Africa. Trees were planted at schools, clinics and community centres in Johannesburg, Newcastle and Polokwane. Johannesburg saw the planting of 900 trees, Newcastle and Polokwane were each allocated 450 trees, which were planted at identified beneficiaries.
Staff volunteers from KMSA’s Polokwane and Newcastle branches joined FTFA to plant trees at selected schools in each area. The KMSA Newcastle branch staff helped to plant trees at Sipheni Primary in Madadeni. An additional 23 principals from local schools, who had also been allocated trees, joined on the day, to assist with the planting event and also to give thanks to the KMSA Newcastle branch.
There was jubilation and ululation as staff from the KMSA Polokwane branch arrived at Flora Park Primary School for the tree planting event. The school children were eager to get planting alongside their teachers and KMSA staff.
Trees and Carbon Manager for FTFA, Emily Jones, spoke of the importance of planting trees: “Arbor month is a time for all South Africans to celebrate trees and reflect on the benefits they yield in terms of our environment, and our society. Not only do they offset carbon emissions, they significantly improve quality of life. Trees have been shown to decrease flooding, increase biodiversity and indigenous shade trees significantly improve soil fertility. It’s clear that a green environment is a better environment for all.”
Food & Trees for Africa concentrates their tree planting programmes at beneficiaries in under-resourced communities and townships across South Africa. These areas tend to have fewer trees and less of a means to plant trees. These beneficiaries apply to the organisation for trees, and should they meet a set of sustainability criteria, they are matched with relevant sponsors. In its 27 years of existence, FTFA has developed robust support, monitoring and evaluation systems to ensure that the tree survival rate is well over 85 percent.
Ritchi Smith, marketing co-ordinator for KMSA added, “KMSA is committed to improving and sustaining the environment, now and for future generations.”
These 1810 planted trees will offset 667 tonnes of carbon dioxide in their lifetime. The allocation of 1810 trees to the above mentioned areas, brings Konica Minolta South Africa’s total trees donated since 2008 to 32,100 to date.