Plant a tree and make a difference to our world

2018-09-04 14:15
Can the planting of just one tree make a difference? This picture of this rest stop along the N1 certainly proves that it can with this one tree providing shade and comfort to many weary truck drivers and motorists who settle under it to take a break. FleetWatch is urging all companies in the trucking industry to plant at least one tree during this Arbor Month.

Spring has arrived and with it comes a welcomed uplifting of spirits as the warm sun penetrates through the political fog of this past winter to warm the bones frozen by what, to me, has really been a winter of politically induced discontent.

To bring more ‘good stuff’ to our world and to celebrate the arrival of spring, FleetWatch is piggy-backing on the good work being done by Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) and is urging all transport companies to plant at least one tree on their premises – wherever you are – during the month of September. Of course, more than one will be great but FleetWatch works and acts on the power of one where one crash is one too many, one hijack is one too many. So one tree planted will be good.

Our call coincides with Arbor Month which was previously celebrated as Arbor Week (1-7 September). This year, however, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) have designated the entire month of September as National Arbor Month. This period is designated for the recognition of trees and the benefits they provide. 

The move was instigated by FTFA which felt that one week was too short a time-frame to run all its planting activities and it would be better to run it throughout the month. Chris Wild, executive director of FTFA, says the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is one of its longest standing partners. “We’re excited that they’ve heeded our calls to designate the entire month of September to tree planting interventions.” 

And here’s the really good news from FTFA. This Arbor Month is starting with a bang – with the planting of over 6 400 trees nationally in 2018. “We’re planting trees at homes and schools throughout the country,” says Wild.

The organisation will be attending the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) launch of National Arbor Month on the 7th of September 2018 at Mbombela Stadium, Mbombela Local Municipality, Mpumalanga.

“We’ll be planting trees in Orange Farm with Konica Minolta South Africa (KMSA) who began planting trees with FTFA in that same area in 2008. We look forward to planting new trees as well as returning to those trees planted 10 years ago – to mark a decade of KMSA greening South Africa. KMSA’s commitment this Arbor Month is to plant a total of 2 000 trees in the area. This will benefit approximately 67 schools. KMSA really are helping to plant a legacy this Arbor Month,” says Wild.

Grinding Media South Africa (GMSA) have committed 2 300 trees to the Katlehong Greenbelt, where FTFA works with the local community to systemically green the areas of Thokoza, Vosloorus and Katlehong. This project has enabled 1 000 homes and 10 schools to receive fruit and shade trees.

Ackermans return to Mamelodi this year – ensuring that a further 375 homes and 10 schools receive trees. This donation of 1 000 trees will have significant impact on air quality, soil erosion, property values as well as shade for years to come.

AON South Africa have committed 1 000 trees to schools nationally. This initiative will ensure that 40 schools on FTFA’s waiting list receive fruit and indigenous shade trees.

The Arbor donations to FTFA thus far will see 136 schools and 1 375 homes receiving trees. A total of 55 local unemployed community members will be trained and will be provided with work opportunities as they help to monitor and care for the trees planted in Arbor Month.

A number of other companies have also committed to donating trees. These include: Camargue Underwriters, Nampak, Fidelity ADT, The Post Office, Eaton Hydraulics, Barloworld Isuzu Johannesburg and Marriot Hotels Cape Town.

If any company would like to donate towards this worthy cause, you can contact either Chris Wild at Food & Trees for Africa on 011 656 9802 or email him at Or contact Emily Jones on 011 656 9802 or email It’s all about making a positive difference to the environment and thereby to the lives of all South Africans.

If any trucking company heeds our call to a tree or ten, please send us photographs of what you have done. We would love to acknowledge your efforts. Send them to the Editor at

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