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Sun City Resort fights climate change while uplifting community with tree-planting project

Sun City Resort is helping to revive the citrus industry in the North West Province, traditionally a citrus-growing region, while at the same time uplifting unemployed youth and fighting climate change by reducing carbon emissions through tree planting.

Six unemployed youths from the Moses Kotane Municipal region completed a 12-month Citrus Business Management learnership through the Citrus Academy in May, of which Sun City sponsored their transport and lunch packs. “With their NQF Level 4 qualification, the aim is to have these learners continue to plant citrus trees and care for them, as well as learn tree pruning techniques from Sun City’s landscaping company,” said Lwazi Mswelanto, Sun City Sustainability Manager. “Through this project, which has included the planting of 100 citrus trees at two schools – 50 trees at Sedibelo Secondary School in Moruleng, and 50 at Temogo Special Needs School in Mogwase – sponsored by Sigma Industry South, we are doing both skills transfer and community upliftment projects.”

Sun City sponsored soil and water testing, soil preparation, irrigation and fencing costs worth R130 000, as well as a vegetable garden at Sedibelo with borehole worth R155 000.

“These trees will provide a crop for the schools to feed their pupils or for them to sell to raise funds to buy things such as stationery,” Mswelanto said.

“North West Province is historically known as a citrus area, which is why Sun City selected orange trees, so that we reduce the impact of our operations through the carbon dioxide minimisation provided by trees, while at the same time reinvigorate farming within the communities.”

(left to right): Ditshele Molosioa, Principal, Temogo Special School; Oupa Morake, Educator, Temogo Special School; Andreas Engman, Department Manager, Sigma Industry South Group; Lars-Johan Ahlqvist, CEO, Sigma Industry South Group; David Ditsi, SED Coordinator, Sun City; Phophi Phalanndwa, SHE Officer, Sun City; Lwazi Mswelanto, Sustainability Manager, Sun City; and Khanyisile Makhubalo, SED Coordinator, Sun City

Mswelanto said the project was part of Sun International’s sustainability approach which worked towards meeting the group’s vision of providing memorable experiences for guests, providing employment for our people, delivering superior shareholder returns, creating genuine value for the communities in which we operate “and making sure we reduce our environmental footprint at the same time”.

Sun City will plant 550 orange and lemon trees at the resort this year to maintain and further the programme and give qualified trainees internships.

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