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100 Trees Planted at Fort Hare University in Honour of Madiba

ALICE – 21 September 2018 – On the 21st of September representatives from the East London branch of Konica Minolta South Africa (KMSA), a division of Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd, visited Fort Hare University for the planting of 100 trees in honour of Madiba. This was the fourth and final tree planting in the region since July 2018. These tree plantings form part of KMSA’s commitment to donate 500 trees in remembrance of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, in areas where the great man spent his formative years.

Before the tree planting activities commenced, students, faculty and representatives from Konica Minolta South Africa had the opportunity to reflect on the importance of trees. Aphiwe Xhala, representative from the Fort Hare University Student Representative Council remarked, “Trees are life, we are having a life lesson today.”

Gary Eves, branch manager at Konica Minolta East London talked about KMSA Eastern Cape’s “For the third consecutive year, together with FTFA we have been privileged to plant trees in the Eastern Cape. In 2015, when we started this exciting initiative, we were honoured that Fort Hare University allowed Konica Minolta the opportunity to plant trees at the University. Well we are back to plant additional trees, in celebration of Nelson Mandela Centenary, and his legacy which will continue forever.“ This activity of planting trees helps KMSA to move closer to carbon neutrality, and inspire future leaders of South Africa.

The group gathered to plant indigenous trees, the Celtis Africana (White Stinkwood). These hardy, fast growing shade trees will soon grow to cast shade for the benefit of students and faculty alike. “Trees are one of the oldest organisms on earth,” commented Dr Lelethu Heshula, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Science and Agriculture. “Let us hope that the effect of these tree plantings is felt by many generations of students to come. “

Over and above the trees donated to Fort Hare, 400 trees have been donated to six identified beneficiaries in Qunu, Mvezo, and Idutywa. This ongoing commitment to plant trees in the region in honor of Madiba began in 2016. In July 2016, KMSA donated 95 trees to the area, with a further 198 trees being donated in 2017. “We look forward to returning to the region in 2019 to build on the impact already created,” remarks Emily Jones, Trees and Carbon Manager at FTFA.

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. This forms part of KMSA’s ongoing commitment to ‘green’ South Africa.