The Stellenbosch Municipality, the 8th best municipality in South Africa (survey) and the Innovation Capital of South Africa won the Arbor City Award for 2014 underpinning its strategic objective to be the greenest municipality in South Africa. The award was presented to the Executive Mayor, Gerald Esau and Portia Bolton at a gala function at Mofolo City Park, Soweto on 1 September 2014.
The Arbor City Awards is a partnership programme between the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the Institute for Environment and Recreation Management. The competition is sponsored by TOTAL South Africa. The purpose of the competition is to encourage Local Municipalities to green their areas of jurisdiction, especially informal settlements. The 2014 Arbor City Award competition was conducted in all nine provinces.
To win, municipalities had to fulfil a number of requirements; among these were a portfolio of evidence showing a greening policy or strategy, a tree register, maintenance plans and budget; a portfolio of evidence in videos or pictures depicting projects, sites, and special trees.
“Stellenbosch is a very proud town today, a very proud community”, says Mayor Conrad Sidego. "This award did not just happen to come our way come. We worked hard and creatively to achieve this and the Million Trees Project is one of a number of innovative projects that drives us and motivates us to increase the quality of life of everyone in the greater Stellenbosch community. The challenge now is to build on this performance, and remain the greenest city and municipality in South Africa".
The Municipality will be concluding its Arbor Week festivities by celebrating its victory, as well as the Million Trees Project's first year on Friday, 5 September 2014, at the Jan Marais Nature Reserve in Stellenbosch.