‘Plain residents combat climate change by planting spekbooms

The City is encouraging residents to take pictures of their newly-planted spekboom trees and post it on social media.

Mitchell’s Plain residents are digging in and planting spekboom trees to combat climate change.

Plainsman reader Rosita Europa, 70, from Colorado Park, wants to share her spekboom, which has been growing in her front garden for almost 30-years, since she got a cutting from a woman at church.

She only found out last year that it is a spekboom and its uses.

“I did not know what it was. I just planted it and now it is taller than me,” she said.

The spekboom (Portulacaria Afra), also known as the pork bush or elephant’s food has the ability to absorb more carbon dioxide than any other plant (“City takes on Spekboom Challenge”, Plainsman, February 12).

Apart from being a strong grower and a water-wise plant, a spekboom can live up to 200 years and has the ability to adapt to environmental changes.

It can be planted to beautify a garden or open space, or act as windbreaks when planted in a lane.

This proudly South African plant has been making waves in eco-conservation.

It has proven to absorb the highest percentage of carbon dioxide in comparison to any other plant on the planet.

Last month the City of Cape Town’s Recreation and Parks Department took up the Spekboom Challenge with its Newlands nursery growing 5 000 spekboom trees to be distributed for planting during Climate Change Month in April.

First Westridge Cub Pack scouter Irma Cotton, also known as Akela said it was with this in mind that she planned her cub programme – and set a target of planting 50 cuttings.

Last September during their awareness challenge they learned about acid rain, conservation, water and air pollution.

Ms Cotton’s friend Nicky Williams gave her 21 cuttings.

Last month during their weekly Thursday meeting at 3 Stirrup Road in Westridge between 5pm and 6.30pm they learned about the plant’s benefits and how they can “create a better world”.

This month the cubs will distribute it to the community.

“A special thanks to the ladies support of the Mets gym club in Westridge and Magdalene Campbell from Beacon Organic garden,” she said.

Mitchell’s Plain Primary School pupils were encouraged to sow seeds of love for the environment last month, when Liberty Promenade partnered with Soil for Life to plant some of the 100 Spekboom plants allocated to Mitchell’s Plain.

The duo will also be going to Tafelsig, Eastville and Woodville Primary Schools to complete their share of the #SpekboomChallenge.

Brian Unsted, Liberty Two Degrees’ Asset Management Executive of Liberty Promenade, pledged to do business for good, whereby the environment is considered and climate positive operations are practised, taught, and prioritised.

“We are humbled to be able to be the platform through which hundreds of Mitchell’s Plain youth are educated on the importance of conserving our environment for future years,” he said.