Our partnership with Fortress REIT
This month, Fortress REIT and Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) continued their partnership, which has included projects in Vredenburg, Western Cape, and Evaton and Sebokeng, Gauteng. Fortress has long been committed to the sustainable development of the communities their malls are located in. This time, the occasion was the launch of the second phase of Sterkspruit Plaza in Sterkspruit, Eastern Cape. To celebrate the opening in September 2019 and contribute to community development, Fortress sponsored 2 000 trees. Together, we distributed these to local communities, creating a green impact in the greater Sterkspruit area. We handed out 500 trees (138 indigenous shade trees, 362 fruit trees) to 13 schools through FTFA’s Trees for All. Through the Trees for Homes programme, we gave the remaining 1 500 fruit trees to 750 residents of the Tienbank community in Sterkspruit, to be planted at their houses.
The green impact of the project
This exciting initiative donated a total of 1 862 fruit trees to beneficiaries throughout Sterkspruit. Access to home-grown fruit will positively impact community members, in terms of long-term food security and enhanced nutrition and health. But the green impact of the trees will effect more than just human health. We also donated 138 indigenous shade trees, which will go a long way to enhancing the environment and alleviating the negative effects of climate change. In each phase of the community-development campaign, Fortress has also provided long-term support for at least two food gardens in the area. This holistic and integrated approach ensures that the trees will have the maximum sustainable impact.
4 500 trees donated so far
This is the fourth such initiative Fortress has sponsored in 2019 alone. They have now donated a total of 4 500 fruit trees to 2 250 households across three provinces. Through our Trees for All programme, we helped them donate and distribute a further 935 trees – including 318 indigenous shade trees. The 34 beneficiaries were mainly primary schools in Gauteng, the Western Cape and Eastern Cape. A few community food gardens also received trees. In September 2019, we will be helping Fortress to achieve even greater impact, as we roll out yet another greening project in KwaZulu-Natal. Fortress has committed to donating another 1 000 fruit trees to go to 500 homes in the greater Cornubia area. They will additionally be donating 500 fruit trees to beneficiary schools identified and assessed by FTFA.