RELEASE - 10 Years of Tree Planting Bear Fruit
JOHANNESBURG – 27th September 2018 – “In winter we don’t have morogo, and we don’t have milk, but we do have peaches.” These were the words of Mrs Maphutsi holding up a jar of preserved peaches at a tree planting event in Orange Farm near Johannesburg on the 26th September 2018. Mrs Maphutsi was a beneficiary of a donation of peach trees in 2008, and to this day is able to harvest, eat, preserve, feed the children in her care and earn an income from the trees.
KMSA FTFA Group with Certificate and Peaches
Mrs Maphutsi’s trees were a part of a 3500 tree donation made by Konica Minolta South Africa (KMSA), a division of Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd, in 2008. This was the beginning of a tree planting partnership with Food and Trees for Africa (FTFA) that has now spanned a decade.
KMSA FTFA Tree Planting Group
On the 26th of September 2018, the community of Orange Farm joined KMSA and FTFA at Leshata Secondary School in Orange Farm for a celebratory tree planting event, to mark this auspicious occasion. The group gathered to reflect on the impact already achieved, view trees planted 10 years ago, and, to plant more trees.
KMSA FTFA Seed of Life Day Care Centre Peach Trees
Speaking to the learners at Leshata Secondary School, Paul Symonds, Branch Manager at Konica Minolta South Africa Johannesburg commented, “Long term investment doesn’t see rewards overnight, much like our own personal growth, these trees take time to bear fruit.”
Ex-Pupil Gift Tulo mused about how the trees have changed his experience at school, “I can now view my school from Google Maps, because of the established trees planted in the yard.”
During the day KMSA representatives were handed some of Mrs Maphusi’s peaches as a token of appreciation for the impact felt by the community. “KMSA have shown that a long term investment can bear fruit,” commented Chris Wild, Executive Director of Food & Trees for Africa. KMSA were also handed a certificate denoting their total trees planted and total carbon offset since the partnership began 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. 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.
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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)