The 22nd of April 2015 will be remembered as the day that the Stellenbosch community, The Million Project team and the mayor of Stellenbosch, Conrad Sidego set out to achieve a world record – the World’s Largest Tree Hug.
After all equipment was delivered, the site laid out, stewards mobilised, medical crew were in place, auditors had sharpened their pencils the scene was set. Volunteers attending the event were treated to water, apples, and popcorn and fresh fruit juices and blessed with a clear blue sky and temperate weather. The tree huggers attending the Earth Day event comprised ordinary citizens, school children, small business owners, public officials and students.
Caption: The Mayor with a young tree hugger. (Photo: Ignatius Vlok)
The mayor delivered the official welcome and opening saying that ‘This event is significant. Trees not only beautify and green an area it adds to life, quality of living and that is what South Africa needs today. The world quickly dismisses symbolism and emotion that accompanies a day like this. This symbolism of hugging a tree is however very significant; in fact it symbolises not only care of the environment but care and concern about our community and our challenges.’
Stellenbosch Municipality is continuing with events such as this to make an unprecedented statement in terms of its commitment to care for the environment. Through the Million Trees Project, the dream is being reinforced towards home-style communities: friendly and supportive, providing shelter and jobs and dignified living. Taking into account the looming threat of global warming, we must do what we can to stop this slide toward catastrophe. We need to think anew! We need to think 110% green!
Campaigns and efforts like the World Largest Tree Hug by the Million Tree Project help to communicate the green and dignified living messages to local communities and to activate further participation. The Million Tree Project initiative is a comprehensive approach involving all residents, businesses, authorities and land owners. Everyone is encouraged to plant and care for trees across the 900 km2 of the Municipality. A key focus of the project is to ‘green the townships’- planting up the informal settlements and other areas previously not greened and those where high density developments prevented the planting of trees. Urban forests and green corridors are the green lungs that will pump life-supporting oxygen into our living space. The wish is for everybody to become active Ambassadors for Nature.
The Tree Hug day will go far to reinforce the messages of a greener environment, a greener Stellenbosch and a more prosperous community. Mayor Sidego has said before that, ‘If you can look after a tree, you will care for a child’. And that is the legacy of the Million Tree Project and campaigns like today…it is for our children.
Burgermeester Conrad Sidego het ‘n opvoedingsveldtog geloods met studente by die Universiteit van Stellenbosch se Neelsie sentrum op die 17de April 2015. Die doel van die veldtog is om studente aan te moedig om valhelms te dra.
Die algemene persepsie is dat fietsryers soms nie wetsgehoorsaam is nie. Dat hul nie stop nie by stopstrate nie, verkeersligte en padreëls verontagsaam. Ry langs mekaar in plaas van agter mekaar. Dit is egter belangrik om te besef dat hulle ook die pad met motoriste en voetgangers deel en dat almal hulle ook in ag moet neem.
In Stellenbosch word ‘n ‘Non-Motorised Transport’ beleid uitgevoer soos goedgekeur deur die stadsraad in Maart 2015. Die doel van die beleid is om ‘n mobiele omgewing te verseker waar alle vorme van vervoer gelyke waarde geniet. Die beleid is geskoei daarop om vervoer wat mens-gedrewe is aan te moedig en sodoende ‘n fietsry en voetgangersvriendelike omgewing te skep. Dit sal ook meehelp dat Stellenbosch tot ‘n groen dorp status verhewe kan word deurdat ons die omgewing met groter omsigtigheid behandel.
Burgermeester Sidego verduidelik, ‘Hierdie is ‘n deurlopende veldtog om bewustheid tuis te bring dat dit onwettig is om ‘n fiets te ry sonder ‘n valhelm.’Die veldtog sal gepaard gaan met opvoeding en bewusmaking by skole en ander instellings, veral in die lig dat jong fietsryers en potensiële fietsryers van jongs af bewus gemaak moet word oor die dra van valhelms.
Fietsryers wat nie valhelms gebruik nie moet bewustheid dra van die oortrediing en die potensiële veiligheidsrisiko. Die dra van valhelms moet deel van die daaglikse roetine vir ‘n fietsryer wor en fietsryers moet onthou om valhelms ter alle tye as julle op julle fietse is en bedagsaam te wees op die padreëls wat vir alle padgebruikers geld. Ander wenke sluit in die dra helder kleure; dat daar veiligheid is in getalle deur saam te ry in ‘n groep en om iemand te laat weet waar jy beplan om te gaan ry.
Dis veral belangrik om altyd op die uitkyk te wees vir gevaar – menslik, motors, diere – ‘n fietsongeluk kan enigetyd gebeur, wat veroorsaak kan word deur fietsryer self of deur motoris of voetganger.
Die doel van die veldtog is ook verder om die publiek bewus te maak van die wetgewing wat bestaan wat die dra van ‘n valhelm vir fietsryers verpligtend maak. Met die dra van ‘n valhelm kan die risko vir kop en breinbeserings met tussen 66% - 88% verminder word, volgens die Amerikaanse Fietsryvereniging. In Suid-Afrka is dit sedert 1993, volgens die nasionale Padverkeerswet, 1993(wet no 93 van 1996), verpligtend dat alle fietsryers ‘n valhelm dra.
So, onthou jou valhelm as jy vandag op jou fiets gaan klim!
The Plankenbrug Tree-A-Thon to plant 990 trees took place on Friday, 10th of April 2015 where the executive mayor of Stellenbosch and Councillor Pietman Retief welcomed the tree planting volunteers and joined in planting trees alongside the river’s banks.
Mayor Sidego described the trees as ‘statues of hope’ to not only green the environment and enhance nature in this industrial area but also add to the dignified living objectives of the municipality’s vision and work programme for Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch Municipality has adopted a vision to be the Innovation Capital of South Africa and are working through its service delivery programmes such as this to achieve this.
The day was hosted by Stellenbosch Municipality’s Million Trees project, Wildlands and Leaf a Legacy. Volunteers from the following organisations and companies attended to plant the trees - Distell, REMGRO, SPIER, Reliance, PSG, Chill Beverages/Urban Zest , Engel & Völkers, GreenPop, Matthew Koehorst , EcoMaties , UNASA , DAFF (Department Agriculture Forestry Fisheries) annd Wildlands Team.
Both the Papegaaiberg Nature Reserve and the Plankenbrug River and its tributaries perform an important function as part of an integrated group of ecosystems that determine the health of the entire catchment and is a core conservation area of the biosphere reserve. It is for this reason that this area has been chosen by Wildlands to focus the efforts of its Greening Your Future team where twenty individuals from the local Kayamandi community, employed through the DEA NRM Land User Incentive Scheme II programme, have been tasked with restoring the area back to its original state.
Lydia Willems, Manager of Wildlands also thanked the Million Trees Project anchor team and volunteers for the 990 trees that were planted and for the weather prospects in April to bring rain for a good survival rate for the trees. ‘On behalf of our “Greening Your Future” National Resource Management (NRM LUI2) Land Use Incentive Project, a HUGE thank you!’ she noted.
Director of Partnerships, Marketing & Sustainability at Wildlands, Louise Duys said, “It is important to remember that this all started with the million trees vision of the Executive Mayor Conrad Sidego,” said Duys. “He has also been a consistent contributor to the cause, not afraid to get his hands dirty and enthusiastic about helping Wildlands build a sustainable model for these areas.” Wildlands is primarily a restoration management project and do not have the means to care intensively for the trees planted into the restoration projects such as the Plankenbrug River, but will try its best to water and mulch and provide a good start for these little “green statues of hope” as Wildlands move onto the next stretch of the Plankenbrug River.
“This is a repeat performance of last year’s 1000 tree planting exercise in Klapmuts, Let us set a 50,000 goal for the next tree-a-thon,” said the passionate Executive Mayor Conrad Sidego. “This can be the next, achievable, step in reaching our one million tree goal. We can gain momentum by tackling this task in increments like this. With an army like we have to here today, 50,000 trees is possible! This movement must move from GREAT to REMARKABLE as a result of its cumulative impact. This Million Tree movement must impact the community members in Stellenbosch. Our people do not deserve to live in an undignified manner. Thank you to Wildlands and all the corporates who have gathered here today to play their part as a corporate citizen. Let us plant 1000 green statues of hope today.”
Tel: 060 500 0823
The executive mayor of Stellenbosch, Conrad Sidego thanked Parmalat and Woodmill Park for their contributions to the Stellenbosch Feeding Action programme. A ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Monday 13th of April 2015 to formally open the facility provided by Woodmill Park in Stellenbosch. Parmalat in Stellenbosch provided a cooling unit room for all donations received on a daily basis that is despatched to communities across Stellenbosch.
Liesel Koen, coordinator of the Stellenbosch Feeding Action welcomed the representative of Parmalat, Ms Zelrese Brair and Mr Chris Kruis of Woodmil (Steinhoff Office) and Feeding Action certifcates were handed over to the companies.
Photo: Mayor Sidego, Ms Zelrese Brair (Parmalat), Liesel Koen (Stellenbosch Feeding Action) cutting the ribbon to the new cooling facility.
The mayor highlighted that this is not just a corporate social responsibility initiative in the form of a cooling room and facilities but an action taken by Parmalat and Woodmill to help restore dignity to residents in Stellenbosch that don’t have food security. The Stellenbosch’s community have 28% food insecurity on a daily basis.
The cooling unit room assists the Feeding Action to preserve vegetables and fruit for longer periods and enables them to increase their standards in services provided to the community. Parmalat had also in 2014 assisted the Feeding Action to adapt the kitchen in the facility into an industrial standard kitchen.
The Feeding in Action is a non-profit organisation that provides meals and food supplies to nearly 5000 people each week. With the help of volunteers and donations of food and money, food is distributed at 35 strategic feeding points in the Broader Stellenbosch Municipal Area and support 25 community organisations
The Chilean poet and Nobel Prize winner, Pablo Neruda said, ‘For now, I ask no more than the justice of eating.’ This facility and equipment supports Stellenbosch Feeding action to better deliver to the hungry in Stellenbosch.
For further information you can contact Liesel Koen: www.feedingaction.co.za
Tel: 071 322 0747
Die drinkwater in u gebied word verkry vanaf Stad Kaapstad en versprei deur Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit. Stad Kaapstad het kennis gegee dat onderhoudswerk verrig gaan word. Die watertoevoer na Franschhoek, Kylemore, Pniel en Lanquedoc sal onderbreek word vanaf:
DINSDAG, 14 April 2015 om 12h00 tot
DONDERDAG, 16 April 2015 om 17h00.
Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit sal poog om die reservoirs vol te maak voor die onderbreking. U word egter dringend versoek om tuis ook voorsorg te tref vir die opgaar van water en water so spaarsamig as moontlik te gebruik, tot voordeel van die hele gemeenskap.
Geen besproeiing sal toegelaat word tydens hierdie periode nie.
Ons vertrou op u samwerking en begrip vir die situasie.
Navrae kan gerig word aan Waterdienste by telefoonnommer (021) 808 8209.
The potable water in your area is supplied by the City of Cape Town and distributed by Stellenbosch Municipality. Notice was received from the City of Cape Town that maintenance will be done. Water supply to Franschhoek, Kylemore, Pniel and Lanquedoc will be interrupted from:
TUESDAY, 14 April 2015 at 12h00 until
THURSDAY, 16 April 2015 at 17h00.
Stellenbosch Municipality will fill the reservoirs before the interruption occurs. As residents you are however requested to make provision in advance to provide for your needs as well as to use water as sparingly as possible to the benefit of all.
No irrigation will be allowed during this period.
Your cooperation and understanding will be appreciated.
For more information, please contact Water Services at (021) 808 8209.