Saturday, August 30, 2008
Greening Soweto, tree by tree
Thousands of trees are being planted in Soweto under the award-winning Greening Soweto, aimed at turning the sprawling township into an urban forest ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. And the City is calling on more people to participate.
WHEN Executive Mayor Amos Masondo led the planting of 6 000 trees to launch Greening Soweto in September 2006, an ambitious project to beautify the massive township ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, he began what has become Joburg's "biggest greening revolution".
Since then, 51 821 indigenous trees, worth R46-million, have been planted along Soweto's streets and in its gardens. Through Greening Soweto, a legacy project of the World Cup, the City aims to plant more than 300 000 trees in the country's biggest township.
"We are satisfied with the progress of the project," says Jenny Moodley, the spokesperson at Johannesburg City Parks, the agency charged with the mammoth task of implementing it.
With R7,6-million set aside for Greening Soweto, it is the City's biggest greening initiative. "It is by far the biggest greening initiative in terms of implementation. The landscape of Soweto is changing for the better."
In his budget speech for the 2006-07 financial year, Masondo said: "The greening of Soweto will receive R7,6-million, which will primarily be driven by the planting of street trees to enhance the quality of life and the environment; in 2006-07, 5 000 trees will be planted."
Johannesburg Water, City Power and Johannesburg Roads Agency are on board to ensure that there is sufficient water and power, and that roads are in good condition. The World Conservation Union and the national Department of Water Affairs and Forestry have also endorsed the programme.