Motorists surprised with saplings for Spring Day

Cllr Enoch Mkhonto, Ms Nomkhosi Banda, Cllr Freddy Ngomane, Ms Siphesihle Mamba, Mr Sibusiso Themba and Mr Sipho Shongwe with a few of the saplings.

MALALANE – The provincial department of agriculture, the SA National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) joined forces to hand out around 1 000 trees in towns across the province on September 1.

The campaign aimed to promote the importance of sustainability and the role trees play to address food security, create employment and fight environmental issues including climate change.

READ: Nature reserve workers to zip around on bicycles

Two groups of enthusiastic representatives from the various partners, as well as the Nkomazi Local Municipality, were stationed at the traffic lights at Pick n Pay and Spur for about an hour during Friday morning peak traffic.

While some motorists were sceptical, others were delighted with the unexpected gift.

Local councillors and representatives of the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency and Department of Agriculture at one of the traffic lights where they handed out trees on Spring Day.

“People usually give flowers on Spring Day, but they don’t keep. We decided to hand out trees to raise awareness of and fight global warming,” Mr Isaac Sambo from the MPTA said.

In certain towns, SANBI handed out indigenous flowers such as Barberton Daisies, Agapanthus and Strelitzia.

“We plan to partner with the tourism and private sectors as well as business chambers and honorary rangers next year to expand the project. Some have already pledged flowers and trees,” he stated.

READ: Can Baobabs provide insight on climate change?

The Crassula ovata can absorb and store large quantities of carbon and helps negate the effects of climate change. It is also low maintenance and resistant to drought, which makes it perfect in our current climate.

September 1 was not only Spring Day and Arbor Month, but also the start of Tourism Month. During September, South Africans are encouraged to travel the country to explore the affordable, exciting and world-class attractions available.

READ: South Africans can visit national parks for free this September

Retha Nel

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