The Alfred Duma Local Municipality has put the town of Ladysmith on the South African map once again with an emphatic overall win in the 2016 National Arbor City Award Competition, reports the Ladysmith Gazette.
The competition is organised by the department of agriculture, forestry andfisheries (DAFF), in partnership with Total South Africa and the Institute of Environmental and Recreational Management (IERM).
The competition is an annual event, and 2016 marks the 14th year of its existence. Its purpose is to encourage local municipalities to green their areas of jurisdiction and to promote environmental conservation and development.
The awards ceremony took place last Thursday, September 1, at Nkowanhowa Stadium in the greater Tzaneen Municipality, Limpopo.
DAFF and Total South Africa awarded the four prizes under the following categories:
• Metropolitan Category: First prize – Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality
• Local Municipal Category: First prize – Alfred Duma Local Municipality (formerly Emnambithi/Ladysmith Local Municipality); second prize – Steve Tshwete Local Municipality
• Rural Municipality Category: First prize – Endumeni Local Municipality.
“Our main aim as Total South Africa in supporting this initiative is to encourage communities to participate in various greening activities within their own surroundings and widen the education around trees and the important role they play in our environment,” said Total South Africa sustainable development manager Nyameka Makanye.
Alfred Duma Local Municipality received a trophy, a certificate and a whopping R300 000 as the national winners.
In 2015 in the same category of the competition, Emnambithi /Ladysmith Local Municipality obtained second position and won a R250 000 prize.
The Mayoral Tree Planting Programme, the Emnambithi Goes Green Project (funded by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Environmental Affairs) and the development of a number of green recreational parks within the municipal area or jurisdiction played a crucial part in ensuring that the municipality does well in this competition.
Commenting on this achievement, community services executive director Patrick Bonginkosi Simelane expressed his appreciation to the Parks & Gardens Section and added there was still a long way to go, as there was now a challenge to sustain these greening initiatives and achievements.
“More efforts need to be exerted to cover even the previously under-serviced areas, including the areas that were part of the Indaka area, while not neglecting urban areas,” he said.
— Total South Africa (@TotalSAfrica) August 31, 2016
– Caxton News Service