JOHANNESBURG – September 2018 – This September, Konica Minolta South Africa (KMSA), a division of Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd, and Food and Trees for Africa (FTFA) are celebrating a decade of planting trees together.
The tree planting partnership began in September 2008 when KMSA donated 3,500 trees to FTFA programme, Trees for Homes, in Orange Farm, near Johannesburg. Through the project over 3,000 homes in the area received trees (either fruit or shade trees), and many schools and community centres in the area also received trees.
FTFA and KMSA will be celebrating this decade of planting together by returning to Orange Farm on the 26th of September 2018, for a tree planting ceremony, and ‘tree tour’. The tree planting ceremony will take place at Leshata Secondary School. Leshata Secondary received trees in 2008, yet have ample space for more. Following the tree planting at Leshata, participants will take a tour of trees planted in 2008. These will include trees planted at homes, and at the Seed of Life Day Care Centre in the area.
“We consider ourselves fortunate to work with FTFA. The pride we have for our 10 year long relationship can be measured in trees planted and lives changed across South Africa.” comments Ritchi Smith, national marketing co-ordinator for KMSA. “KMSA is immensely proud to have had the opportunity to plant these trees thereby making a contribution to improving lives and greening the environment. Trees are synonymous with childhood and by assisting schools and communities with trees, many happy moments will be spent in their shade and enjoying their fruits in the future.”
In preparation for the event, FTFA facilitator, Jeminah Mkhize, visited many community members and heard their account of participating in the tree planting programmes. “It was incredible to see how valued trees are in the community, and to meet with people whose lives have been changed through this donation” commented Jeminah Mkhize. “I was even given gifts of preserved peaches grown from trees donated by KMSA and planted in 2008.”
To date KMSA have planted 42,218 trees (this includes 4600 bamboo and 124 tree equivalents spekboom) with the company continuing to plant every year, since 2008. This includes KMSA’s commitment of 2,000 trees to schools in the Orange Farm, Sebokeng and Evaton areas this September. These trees will offset a total of 15,578 tonnes of CO2e in their lifetime. KMSA have been able to reach 721 beneficiary organisations with trees, of which 691 were schools and 20 were community centres, 11,639 homes have received fruit and shade trees and 129 Community Educators have been trained and temporarily employed.
“At FTFA we encourage our donors to plant a legacy, thereby recognising their South African heritage and inextricable link to trees,” comments Emily Jones, Trees and Carbon Manager at FTFA, “It is auspicious to use the month of September, Arbor Month, to take stock of the legacy already planted by KMSA in the 10 years since 2008. We look forward to the next decade celebrating trees and planting a legacy with KMSA.”
About Konica Minolta South Africa
Konica Minolta South Africa, a division of Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd is driven to deliver products and services designed to meet clients’ needs. The company’s innovative products and services cover a broad spectrum – from the provision and installation of industry leading, multifunctional devices and digital presses, software and system integration to countrywide service back-up and sophisticated end-to-end document and content management solutions. Konica Minolta South Africa has been a recognised leader in the southern African market for over 50 years, and with more than 70 points of presence across the sub-continent, Konica Minolta South Africa is geared to service businesses across southern Africa as far afield as Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. The company is an active participant in several innovative education and conservation initiatives, which include; a mobile pop-up library and IT centre, established mini libraries benefitting vast numbers of school children, ongoing support of one of the world’s largest rhino orphanages in the world, pioneering the ‘bizhub Conservation Academy’ in Mpumalanga, blending conservation and digital education for rural South Africa and a skills development and job creation programme aimed at empowering young disadvantaged school-leavers. In 2013, Konica Minolta South Africa became one of the first corporates to offset its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions making it carbon neutral, and in conjunction with NGO Food & Trees for Africa, have planted a significant number of trees that are stimulating enterprise development in rural communities.
About Food & Trees for Africa
Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) is a leading Section 21 Social Enterprise that addresses food security and environmental sustainability. Its emphasis is on education and skills training, which is integrated with sensitive mentorship and phased support. With 27 years of experience in South African social development, FTFA understands what it takes to achieve real, long-term sustainability and want to make a positive difference to the lives of all South Africans
Ritchi Smith (Konica Minolta South Africa – 011 661 9196 – firstname.lastname@example.org)
Chris Wild (Food & Trees for Africa – 011 656 9802 – email@example.com)
Emily Jones (Food & Trees for Africa – 011 656 9802 – firstname.lastname@example.org)