Bring it home Boks!

Thursday, September 1, 2011
By: 
Nthambeleni Gabara

Rustenburg - Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said the Springboks should defend and bring the Webb Ellis Trophy to South Africa "where it belongs."

Speaking at the launch of this year's Arbor Week in Phokeng, outside Rustenburg, the minister said: "This day is significant in many ways. It is Arbor Day, it is Spring Day and it has also been dubbed Springbok Day.

"We wish them all the best of luck and they must know that the country is 100% behind them in their quest to retain the Webb Ellis Trophy. They must bring the trophy back home where it belongs," she said. 

South Africa's rugby heroes are departing this evening for New Zealand to defend the World Rugby title they won in France four years ago. 

National Arbor Week serves to promote awareness for the need to plant and maintain indigenous trees throughout South Africa, especially in the historically disadvantaged communities.

This year's Arbor Week is celebrated under the theme Forest for People. In 2007, the department introduced the Million Trees programme to ensure the greening of the country and to contribute towards mitigating the effects of global climate change.

According to the minister, the programme is not only aimed at beautifying surroundings and improving the aesthetic value of property, but to also address environmental and social concerns such as climate change and food security. 

"Trees and forests have a direct contribution towards ensuring access to food and food production at small households. 

"This can be achieved through integration of trees into agricultural systems, through agroforestry practices," she said. 

Joemat-Pettersson said government, through its afforestation strategy, will endeavour to ensure honest brokering between the developers and beneficiary communities. - BuaNews