Since February 2019, real-estate investment trust Fortress has partnered with Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) to roll out several programmes in the communities in which their properties are located.
FTFA’s commitment to the sustainable development and upliftment of under-resourced areas made us a natural choice of implementation partner. Rather than taking a blanket approach, the partnership developed thoughtful solutions, tailored to the communities that Fortress aims to serve. By doing this, Fortress takes responsibility for its activities and practices that affect the community, environment and society, while contributing to a community-driven solution.
The partnership in action
For example, Fortress added a wellness campaign to their food security and environmental initiative ahead of the second phase of development at Sterkspruit Plaza in the Eastern Cape. Here, learners joined Fortress and FTFA to plant 40 trees and distribute a further 1 500 trees to 750 homes in the community. A total of 500 trees were distributed to 13 schools and two food gardens were established with long-term support. This impacted 4 895 lives. Fortress also boosted their wellness message by partnering with a local athletics club to support the Telle Bridge Marathon.
Another Fortress property, Crossroads Mall, is situated in in KwaMhlanga, Mpumalanga. Here, Fortress supported local farms, homes, schools and co-ops by planting 2 540 trees. They committed to the development of a 100-tree enterprise orchard to create a healthier, more food secure environment that will directly benefit more than 4 000 people.
In Gauteng, Fortress supported their customers at Palm Springs Mall and Evaton Mall by spearheading the planting of 3 575 trees in the community. This includes a 100-tree enterprise orchard and food garden in Orange Farm. They rolled out similar initiatives at Vredenburg’s Weskus Mall (Western Cape) and Cornubia Ridge Logistics Park (KwaZulu-Natal).
Impact by the numbers
The infographic below shows the impact of these programmes for each area. They reached an amazing total of 4 500 households and 22 790 people across five provinces.
The Fortress and FTFA partnership aims to drive real social impact by developing integrated programmes that are responsive to community needs. As the community benefits from valuable training, becoming self-sufficient and food secure, gardens and trees benefit from better maintenance and survival rates improve.
Jodie Elinor-Dreyer from Fortress says that the company is working hard to enhance well-being and promote pride among the people who support it every day. “A healthy community is a happy one and the happier the community, the greater the long-term sustainability of all parties that have a stake in its success.”