2017 saw ERP implement a number of initiatives within the Blouberg Municipality of Limpopo. Not only did we continue with the #Bikes4ERP project there, but we also conducted a number of clean-up campaigns, planted 340 trees for Arbor Day and continued to run our recycling Buyback Centre which makes use of donkeys in waste collections.
Clean up campaigns and heritage
Thanks to the sterling work of Dr. Tlou Setumu, in cultural and heritage work, we have been able to link our clean-up campaigns with cultural aspects, including the preservation of elephants, rhinos and wildlife in general as an integral part of a community’s heritage. Considering the rich heritage of the Blouberg and Makgabeng mountains, our message is always that of keeping the environment clean, not only for humans, but for the benefit and preservation of the environment and the promotion of eco-tourism. Each clean-up campaign always ends up in song and dance, as the community showcase their heritage and take pride of their natural resources, including wildlife.
Arbor Day celebrations
For Arbor Day in 2017, we set ourselves a target of planting 500 trees spread over the month of September. By the end of the month, we had been able to plant 340 trees, which beautified the town of Senwabarwana. This gesture not only brought the community together, but was also an opportunity to promote environmental conservation through ERP. In addition, it created temporary jobs for some of the community members who got involved, although most were volunteers.
Waste recycling using donkeys
We also continued with our recycling initiative which makes use of donkeys and donkey carts to collect waste and recycle it through our recycling Buyback Centre. In 2017, this project won a Bronze Award at the Eco-Logic Awards, which celebrate initiatives that promote environmental sustainability in South Africa. It was also featured on Beautiful News South Africa, a platform dedicated to the collection and preservation of positive stories and messages in South Africa.
Intervention at Ramatema school
ERP, through Clement Maosa, one of our ambassadors and well known South African actor, were able to donate 5 laptops, 5 whiteboards, a projector and 50 ERP branded t-shirts to Ramatema Secondary School. This is where Clement matriculated from, and he wanted to motivate students into understanding that they can achieve anything regardless of their background and where they come from. Clement was also able to bring along his celebrity colleagues, including gold winning athlete Caster Semenya to the event. Beyond the event, we appointed a contractor who was able to assist the matric class with extra lessons, using the laptops. Additionally, one of our colleagues was able to source a donation of curtains for the classes so as to effectively make use of the projector during lessons.
We aim to continue increasing our social and environmental impacts in Blouberg, with more community based activities already planned for 2018. This will be through the scaling up of the recycling initiative and also reaching out to communities further away from Senwabarwana in order to promote environmental conservation through celebrating the local culture. Another exciting initiative, in the pipeline, is the promotion of access to potable water within these communities which will vastly improve the quality of life of both humans and animals (wild and domestic), in this region.