Greening plan helps boost jobs
Sixty unemployed people have been hired to plant 13000 trees over three days as part of the Greening Durban 2010 Project.
Greening 2010 is a municipal climate protection programme - planting trees - aimed at minimising the impact of global warming by reducing the associated carbon emissions.
Through the project, measures are being put in place to reduce carbon emissions as Durban prepares to host some of the city's 2010 activities.
The first tree was planted yesterday at the Buffelsdraai Land Refill Site.
This was in collaboration with the Comrades Marathon Association, Bonitas Relief Campaign and the Wildlands Conservation Trust.
Andrew Venter, the chief executive officer of the Wildlands, said the programme was aimed at "partnering other stakeholders to make the dream of conservation a reality".
Venter said the project was compliant with the United Nations programme as it would contribute positively to land restoration in areas that have been degraded by floods and other natural causes.
"Initially, it was about planting trees to preserve nature but it has now developed into something good because it had become a catalyst for poverty eradication.
"We have been able to help people to put food on the table. By the time this project is completed, nearly 200 people would have been provided with job opportunities," said Venter.
He said the Buffelsdraai Land Refill Site was identified as a pilot project for this "enormous and challenging task" which would probably spread to other areas in the near future.
Venter said he was positive that they would have planted all the trees in the next two days.
This meant that five percent of the available 880hectares of land would have been covered.
Community representative Petros Mabaso said the project had changed their lives.
"Planting trees was something that we did for fun, but today this programme has afforded us the opportunity to make some money and support our families.
"We are now able to put food on the table," Mabaso said.