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Planting 500 Trees in Honour of 100 Years Since Nelson Mandela’s Birth

This July staff from Konica Minolta South Africa (KMSA), a division of Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd, will visit the Eastern Cape for the third successive year, to celebrate 100 years since Madiba’s birth. This initiative seeks to plant trees in remembrance of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, in areas where the great man spent his formative years. A total of 500 trees have been donated to seven identified beneficiaries in Qunu, Mvezo, Fort Hare and Idutywa. Working with local leadership and key stakeholders, beneficiaries have been identified and assessed to receive trees.

A total of 100 fever trees will be planted in Mvezo, at beneficiaries identified by the Royal House of Mandela and the Mvezo Traditional Council, represented by Chief Nkosi Zwelivelile (‘Mandla’) Mandela. These trees will be planted at the Great Place in Mvezo (Madiba’s place of birth) as well as Makgatho Lewanika Mandela Primary School, Nolusapho Pre-Primary School, Nosageni Clinic and the Nelson Mandela School of Science and Technology.

Gary Eves, branch manager at Konica Minolta East London comments, “You could say our story starts with trees. Konica Minolta has been around for more than 50 years, and on our journey we have taken the initiative in this beautiful country South Africa, to support charities, conservation, learnership programmes, recycling, the plight of the rhino, and last but not least, the planting of trees. On our journey we have planted more than 40 218 trees since 2008, including bamboo, together with Food & Trees for Africa.”

In addition to the trees donated to Mvezo, a further 200 trees will be planted at schools in Qunu, 100 at Qunu Junior Secondary School where Madiba spent some of his primary school years. A further 100 trees will be donated to Milton Mbekela Senior Secondary School.

Zamuxolo Primary School was also identified together with the Adopt a School Foundation, a partner entity of the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation. The school falls squarely within the KMSA Mandela Route and is in need of trees to shade the playground, provide windbreaks and beautify the property. This school also received 100 trees in honour of the Mandela centenary. Cassandra Pireu, Fund Raising Officer at Adopt a School Foundation comments, “This donation of 100 trees to Zamuxolo Primary School is one that will keep on giving. The indigenous trees will provide shade and a sense of pride for the school. We look forward to seeing these trees grow over the years as a lasting legacy.”

In September, during Arbor month, a further 100 trees will be planted at Fort Hare University in Alice, bringing the number of trees donated by KMSA between July and September to 500 in total.
In July 2016, the company 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.

This tree planting brings the number of trees, tree equivalents spekboom and bamboo donated by KMSA to 40,218 since 2008, through the company’s ongoing commitment to ‘green’ South Africa.

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