Konica Minolta South Africa’s Promise to Plant a Growing Legacy in Madiba’s Footsteps

| 8 August 2017

JOHANNESBURG- 08 August 2017 - In July, Konica Minolta South Africa (KMSA), a division of Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd., and Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA), fulfilled the promise to return to Madiba’s place of birth, to plant trees in remembrance of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. KMSA donated 99 trees to both Qunu and Mvezo near Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, to commemorate 99 years since Madiba’s birth.

This initiative follows in the wake of 95 trees donated in 2016 to Lamyeni, Alice, Mvezo and Qunu in the Eastern Cape. These are the areas where Madiba spent his formative years, the areas that shaped him into the man that South African’s came to know.

Ritchi Smith, National Marketing Co-ordinator for Konica Minolta South Africa, says, “The journey made by KMSA this year was the fulfilment of a promise made to the community. A promise to return, and to keep returning, to plant trees where they are needed.” Konica Minolta South Africa staff volunteers from the Johannesburg head office as well as Mthatha and East London branches, made the journey to Mvezo and Qunu in July this year, to assist with the tree planting. Says Gary Eves of KMSA,

“As the branch manager of East London and Mthatha , I feel very privileged to have been part of the memorable tree planting journey over the past two years… For generations that follow, we trust that we have planted a memory, and that the Chiefs and leaders of the communities, will take our message forward and continue to grow trees. On behalf of Konica Minolta South Africa, we thank you for encouraging our company to return next year to celebrate the 100th birthday of the great Nelson Mandela.”

Working closely with local leadership, FTFA identified a total of 8 beneficiaries to receive trees from KMSA. Two of the schools identified to receive trees by both Chief Nkosi Zwelivelile (Mandla) Mandela and his mother, Mam Nolusapho, where earmarked to host a tree planting event facilitated by FTFA, which included participation from the learners. Makgatho Lewanika Mandela Primary School received 40 trees and Nolusapho Early Childhood Development Centre received 10 trees. Both schools are named for Chief Mandela’s parents.

Says Chief Mandela,

“We are immensely proud of our association with Food & Trees for Africa and Konica Minolta South Africa. Each tree we plant represents hope and our commitment to a better future. The rural landscape of villages such as Mvezo Komkhulu, Nelson Mandela's birth place, still bear the harsh scars of our painful, unequal and under-developed past. For some children in South Africa tree-lined avenues, lush gardens with blushing roses and a myriad of plants and trees are a common sight. Let our rural children not remain the step-children of prosperity and development. Let us bring the joy that trees have provided since time immemorial ,gracefully sculpting our landscape, providing food, shelter and fresh air required for sustainably living into a new future. May these trees bring life, prosperity, strength, wisdom and growth to Mvezo and all rural communities.”

On returning to the area, both KMSA and FTFA were encouraged to see how well the trees planted in 2016, were doing. Says Emily Jones, Trees and Carbon Manager for Food & Trees for Africa, “Returning to areas where we have previously planted trees is incredibly important, to re-iterate training and assist the community where needed. It has been fulfilling to work with a sponsor such as Konica Minolta South Africa who enable such projects to bear fruit. ”

The allocation of 198 trees to Mvezo and Qunu brings Konica Minolta’s total trees donated since 2008 to 30,191 to date

About Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe


Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH, based in Langenhagen, Germany, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Konica Minolta Inc., Tokyo, Japan. Konica Minolta enables its clients to champion the digital era: with its unique imaging expertise and data processing capabilities, Konica Minolta creates relevant solutions for its customers and solves issues faced by society. As a provider of comprehensive IT services, Konica Minolta delivers consultancy and services to optimise business processes with workflow automation. The company further offers its customers solutions and managed services in the field of IT infrastructure and IT security as well as cloud environments. With regard to its office printing solutions, "IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Print Transformation 2020 Vendor Assessment" stated that Konica Minolta is "recognised globally as a leader in print transformation". As a strong partner for the professional printing market, Konica Minolta offers business consulting, state-of-the-art technology and software and has established itself as the production printing market leader for more than a decade in Europe (InfoSource). Its Business Innovation Centre in London and four R & D laboratories in Europe enable Konica Minolta to bring innovation forward by collaborating with its customers as well as academic, industrial and entrepreneurial partners. For its innovative service approach that complements their devices perfectly, Konica Minolta was awarded the prestigious ‘"Buyers Lab PaceSetter Award for Serviceability and Support 2020/2021" by Keypoint Intelligence. Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe is represented by subsidiaries and distributors in more than 80 countries in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. With approximately 10,000 employees (as of April 2020), Konica Minolta Europe earned net sales of over 2.34 billion in financial year 2019/2020.


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