Spring has sprung and with the weather being mostly clement, South Africans from all walks of life are being encouraged to get their hands dirty planting a tree.
September marks National Arbor Month and the Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries, Maggie Sotyu, has encouraged South Africans to plant trees and look after their natural environment.
"Greening interventions that include the planting of fruit trees in home gardens can make a contribution towards alleviating household food insecurity in both urban and rural settlements," Sotyu said.
She launched the National Arbor Month campaign in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, on Sunday.
Arbor Month is an annual campaign coordinated by the national Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Department of Environmental Affairs in partnership with Total South Africa.
The communities of Motherwell, KwaZakhele and New Brighton have benefited from this objective, where the Deputy Minister and dignitaries led the planting of 500 fruit and 500 indigenous trees in community parks, with some being distributed to households and a local school.
The three communities were also given 400 hand gardening tools.
40 000 trees to be planted
This year's campaign will be observed under the theme 'Forests and Sustainable Cities'.
Total South Africa, which has sponsored the campaign for more than 16 years, emphasized the importance of environmental protection as a way to preserve national heritage.
"We will have no heritage to speak of if we don't act today. In South Africa, we have felt the direct impact of climate change on agriculture, and the knock-on effect on our country's food security," said Total SA's Corporate Affairs Manager, Nne-Mpho Siaga.
(With Inputs from South African Government Press Release)