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10 Years of Tree Planting with Konica Minolta South Africa

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.”
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