Pretoria: The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan area’s status as the manufacturing hub of Southern Africa is one of the reasons that residents should take tree planting seriously.
This is according to Member of Mayoral Committee for Environmental Development, Vuyelwa Mabena, who launched Arbor Week 1 – 7 September in Duduza on Monday.
Mabena made this point while explaining the importance of the week and why residents should make it their business that the 1 250 trees that have been planted in the area are taken care of.
“Trees absorb the carbon dioxide released by industries and release oxygen which is vital for human beings to breathe,” she said. “Trees also prevent soil erosion by holding water during heavy rain storms, and thus keeping the land arable.”
Arbor Week ties in with the ‘Cleaner and Greener Ekurhuleni Starts with You’ movement, where communities are encouraged to refrain from illegal dumping, and utilise open spaces for planting trees instead. To demonstrate this, the City has developed a park – which was also unveiled this week – in Masechaba extension three.
In observing Arbor Week, the City of Ekurhuleni and its partners, the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Rand Water, planted 773 trees (fruit-bearing and ornamental) in Duduza and donated gardening tools to the Tornado Gardening Group, which runs a food garden project at Thandi Sibeko Secondary School.
Trees are regarded as windbreaks, and rows were planted along the streets in an effort to guard against damage in the event of strong winds. Many homes had to be completely rebuilt after a tornado passed through Masechaba extension three in October last year.
The remaining 477 trees will be donated to schools, including James Nkosi Primary School and Thandi Sibeko Secondary School, as well as clinics in the area.